Despite landing the legislature on a “Judicial Hellholes” watchlist, the Florida Justice Reform Institute says Florida has improved its reputation for the third year in a row.
No Florida jurisdiction appeared on the American Tort Reform Association’s list of eight “judicial hellholes” in the nation. However, it is Group annual report, the latest edition released Tuesday, marked the Florida Legislature on its watchlist, invoking a history of unfair litigation in the state.
“Despite all the work of the Florida Supreme Court and the government. Ron DeSantis To curb the abuse of lawsuits, much-needed reforms in Florida legislature remain stalled, ”the report said. “Without these reforms, the bar association is still able to capitalize, and they know it. Issues to address include excessive medical harm, bad faith reforms, litigation funding, and lawyers’ fee multipliers. “
Florida was named the nation’s worst “hellhole” in the group’s 2018 report. It fell back to number two in 2019. It dropped out of the ranking in 2020 and instead ended up on the watch list. The state as a whole, minus the legislature, has been removed from the list in this year’s report.
William Gross, President of the Florida Justice Reform Institute, commended DeSantis for his actions since taking office nearly three years ago in January 2019.
“From making sure businesses reopen after the COVID-19 shutdown without fear of an avalanche of lawsuits, to tackling frivolous property insurance disputes, to the downstream impact of his judicial appointments, Governor DeSantis continues to pull Florida out of the justice hellhole that we were not that long ago, ”said Large.
The American Tort Reform Association reported that lawmakers have not been enacting reforms related to phantom damage, bad faith claims, and more for several years. Among the nearly 3,000 bills that were tabled at the last session but never passed included laws that would have set a standard for “reckless disregard” for bad faith claims against insurers. The measure borne by St. Petersburg Republicans Jeff BrandesShe never got a hearing and didn’t put on a house counterpart.
“The plaintiffs’ attorneys in Florida have long abused so-called” letters of defense “to inflate medical costs for lawsuits,” said the group’s president. Tiger Joyce. “Excessive billing only adds to the overall cost of the justice system and puts the financial burden on every American by increasing the cost of goods and services.”
In contrast to the legislature, the Supreme Court was referred to in the Judicial Hellholes report as a “point of light” because it helped create a fairer and more balanced civil justice system.
Large also commended the court for doing its part by adopting a federal standard for summary judgments that improves fairness and efficiency by saving the juries’ work when “real facts” are “in dispute”. In addition, the court ruled that Florida’s “Apex Doctrine” was extended to high-level corporate officials, protecting them from testimony and discovery that it believed were intended to force unworthy settlements.
“By using its exclusive decision-making authority to address entrenched, systemic problems, the Florida Supreme Court is making our judicial system for the better,” said Large. “And we owe that to Governor DeSantis.”
California came worst on the Judicial Hellholes list, followed by New York. The Georgia Supreme Court, the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania courts, and the major Illinois courts rounded out the top 5. Louisiana, St. Louis, and South Carolina finished the Hellholes list.