Florida Record

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Prejudgment interest, medical malpractice bills fail in Florida Legislature

By Richard Jones | May 25, 2017

General court 08

TALLAHASSEE — With the Florida Legislature on break, several high-profile bills currently tracked by the Florida Record have been met their legislative demise. 

A prejudjment interest bill, CS/CS/SB 334 (2017), introduced by Sen. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) would have required a court to include interest in the final judgment on negligence cases. The bill would have only applied to personal injury cases. The has been indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration.

HB 537 (2017) for medical malpractice was introduced by Rep. Bob Rommel (R-Naples) and would have required specific calculations of damages in certain personal injury cases. The bill also prohibited the admission of certain information relating to the costs of medical or health care as evidence in those cases. The bill died in the House Civil Justice and Claims Subcommittee

Another bill Rommel introduced, HB 583 (2017) Damages Recoverable for the Cost of Medical or Health Care Services, provided for the calculation of the award of damages for certain medical or health care services paid or owed by a claimant or governmental or commercial insurance provider. The bill also set a maximum amount for recovery under subrogation to be regulated under the Florida Insurance Code. The bill died in the Civil Justice and Claims Subcommittee.

In addition, the Senate is working on ways to properly implement the rollout of Amendment 2, which allows the use of marijuana for certain medical conditions. Senators want to ensure medical marijuana is available without expanding the number of treatment centers until demands warrant such an expansion. The Senate also aims to have the dispensaries structured in a way that promotes quality and competition.

The Senate will provide for the issuance of 10 new licenses while raising the cap on dispensaries to 15 per operator. The new cap number is a proposed compromise with the Florida House of Representatives, which has proposed a cap of 100 dispensaries.

Prior to the break, Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island) introduced SB 406 that included requiring dispensaries to look and feel like medical offices and that medicine is provided without delay. 

According to Flordia Senate Communications Director Katie Betta the Senate is making progress on Amendment 2 but ultimately if will be up to the Department of Health to make Issue a reality. 

"The President of the Senate is continuing to receive input from Senators but a decision has not been made regarding a special session or when hat might take place," Betta told the Florida Record. "Ultimately the Department of health is responsible for implementing the bill so they are already in the rulemaking process it's just a matter if the legislature wants to weigh in to pass a bill to offer further guidance."

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