Law experts have conflicting thoughts on new Florida tort reform



In March, Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 837, a law overhauling Florida’s litigation landscape. A panel of law experts spoke to a civic group in Tampa about the law.

The law is referred to as tort reform, and makes a variety of changes. But the biggest one is regarding cases of negligence.

Previously, a plaintiff was entitled to recover a percentage of damages proportionate to the degree of fault of the defendant.

Under this new law, if a plaintiff is more negligent than the defendant, the plaintiff cannot recover.

Steve Barnes is President of Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association.

“Is tort reform harmful to Florida and my families? One hundred percent it is. I was born and raised here, I work here, I represent folks like you every single day. And if I thought for one moment what happened in March of this year was good for you, good for my two girls, good for my three boys? I’d be sitting in his seat instead of mine.”

And by his seat, he means William Large with The Florida Justice Reform Institute.

“This creates a vibrant insurance market in Florida, a vibrant business market in Florida, protects the rights of consumers in Florida, and, unequivocally, that’s the role of the legislature and that’s why they passed this law.”

The law went into effect July 1st.

You may also like

The Incarceration Nation

Alexandra Bailey calls in to the Forum to discuss efforts...

climate change storm rain
Hurricane Ian, one year later: A story of resiliency and hope

Hurricane Ian was the 3rd-costliest natural disaster to hit the...

Transgender and nonbinary people sue Florida over its “discriminatory” bathroom law

A federal lawsuit challenges a new Florida law requiring people...

The Scoop: Fri., September 29, 2023 Tampa Bay & Florida headlines by WMNF

Naples Capitol breacher caught A member of the ‘Proud Boys’...

Ways to listen

WMNF is listener-supported. That means we don't advertise like a commercial station, and we're not part of a university.

Ways to support

WMNF volunteers have fun providing a variety of needed services to keep your community radio station alive and kickin'.

Follow us on Instagram