Tuesday, 21 January 2020 14:51

Florida Legislative Preview 2020: Industry Calls on Lawmakers to Reform Lawsuit Abuse

Written by Amy O'Connor, Insurance Journal


Brandes who is a member of the Florida Senate Banking & Insurance Committee, also sponsored  SB 924 that would target civil actions against insurers.


That bill provides that in third-party bad faith actions against insurers, insureds and claimants have the burden to prove that an insurer acted in reckless disregard for insured rights which resulted in damage to the insured or the claimant, according to the bill summary.


It also would require in these claims that insured or claimant actions or inactions are relevant in bad faith actions; provide that an insurer is not liable if certain conditions are met; and provide that an insurer is not liable beyond available policy limits as to certain competing third-party claims if it files an inter-pleader action within a certain time frame.


APCIA’s McFaddin said bad faith reform in Florida is a top legislative priority for the association this year.


“Florida’s legal climate is one of the worst in the country, and rampant lawsuit abuse fueled by some plaintiffs’ attorneys is dramatically driving up costs for consumers and businesses,” she said.


“Consumers’ rights to seek legal action will remain protected, but it is past time to implement reforms that will reduce lawsuit abuse, curb frivolous tactics, and begin to restore fairness to Florida’s legal system.”