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Florida Enacts Tort Reform

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In a major win for the insurance industry, on Friday Governor DeSantis signed into law a tort reform bill that will spell significant changes for tort claimants. The bill includes several major components long sought by insurers. For instance, the statute of limitations for injury cases is cut in half from four years to two years. Beyond the change to the limitations period, the bill significantly alters Florida’s comparative negligence law, barring recovery by plaintiffs who are found to be more than 50% at fault for their injuries. The bill also revises Florida’s bad faith law to make it more difficult for plaintiffs to prove bad faith claims handling practices and, in what could be one of the most important twists, strikes down Florida’s one-way attorneys’ fees provision. Not unexpectedly, the bill was lauded by the American Tort Reform Association and roundly panned by claimants’ groups.

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