TALLAHASSEE -- Third party litigation funding is a growing industry that should be made more transparent through regulation, according to the Associated Industries of Florida.
Brewster B. Bevis, senior vice president of state and federal affairs of the organization said the industry is a growing concern in Florida.
“This is an issue that really popped up this year,” Bevis told the Florida Record. “The Florida National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) took a lead on that and there was some legislation filed that did not get any traction."
“Blocking or making plaintiff’s attorneys come out and fully disclose that they are being funded on a lawsuit essentially will say that this is not a lawsuit that has merit,” Bevis said. “Right now there is no disclosure requirement, so it is tough to nail down if this is happening in the state, but I can assure you that if we are the No. 1 judicial hellhole in the nation, it is probably happening here now.”
Bevis believes that a common sense workaround would be to implement disclosure requirements, which would increase transparency.
“I think that the plaintiff’s attorneys are very good at creating these cottage industries,” he said. “It started with assignment of benefits... and now we are looking at this third party litigation. They know how to take advantage of the system and it can be used to hurt businesses in the state and drives up the cost to consumers.”