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Legislative Representation

Legislative Representation

Even the Best Attorneys Need Good Representation…

Let Us Worry About Protecting Your Clients’ Rights in Tallahassee

FJA is the only association in Florida dedicated to the protection of your practice, your clients’ rights and Florida’s Civil Justice System. Through your continued support, together we will bring justice to thousands of Floridians who need our help.

Every year powerful corporate special interests spend millions of dollars lobbying in Tallahassee against you, your clients, and Florida’s Civil Justice System.

Who are these special interest groups that FJA battles annually? To name a few:

  • The Insurance Industry
  • The Florida Chamber of Commerce
  • The Florida Civil Justice Reform Institute
  • Walt Disney World
  • Publix Supermarkets
  • The Entire Health Care Industry
  • The Nursing Home Industry
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Rubber and Tire Manufacturers and Retailers
  • Daytona Speedway

In no other area do our efforts at the Florida Justice Association have more of a direct impact on the success of your practice than during Florida’s annual 60-day legislative session. That’s when your legislative team works tirelessly day and night on behalf of you and your clients.

All FJA members are invited and encouraged to come to Tallahassee during the Legislative Session and join our lobbying ranks.  For more information, please click on the following links:

FJA Volunteer Lobbying

Tallahassee Hotels

Downtown Tallahassee Parking

Downtown Tallahassee Dining

Capitol Complex Information

The Florida Justice Association is relentless in the pursuit of justice. 

During the 2014 Legislative Session, FJA is fighting to defend your practice and your clients’ rights around the clock to stop bills relating to:

Bad Faith – Year after year, we defeat the insurance industry on the bad faith bill.  We expect nothing will be different this year, so we will be prepared again for an all-out dog fight. The bill filed this year is slightly different and will be harder to argue against.  This year’s variant of the legislation creates a 45 day safe harbor from the date of the incident.  

We will also be watching for bad faith changes on two additional fronts:  switching from the Florida summary judgment rule to the federal rule.  This is a back-door way to affect bad faith cases.  Also, any changes auto insurance and mandatory BI will be another venue for proponents to affect bad faith cases.  

 Limitations in Medical Payments (LIMP)  - Like last session, The Chamber, Publix, Disney and the insurance industry are making a significant push to change laws related to the amount of medical damages that can be presented to juries to reduce the amount of damages awarded. They are also asking to interfere with letters of protection and seek to contest medical necessity of treatment.  

Nursing Home Reform – A nursing home bill was filed in the House of Representatives regarding Investor Immunity, and while the bill is much watered down from last session’s bill, it originally stated that Sections 400.023-400.0238 provide the exclusive remedy against a licensee or management company for a cause of action for recovery of damages for the personal injury or death of a nursing home resident arising out of negligence or a violation of residents' rights.  The senate has a bill that goes even further than the House version -- it includes limiting punitive damages awards and prevented residents from using surveys as evidence that an owner knew or should have know about dangerous conditions in the home

Patients Compensation Fund A proposal to eliminate the right to trial by jury in malpractice cases and substitute an arbitration panel made up of health care providers has again been filed.  

Property Insurance -There have been numerous bills filed this year dealing with property insurance.  One creates a Florida flood insurance program (similar to the national program) to counter-act the enormous premium increases that are about to hit coastal owners.  Other bills deal with sinkhole coverage and the Insurance Consumer Advocate. 

Worker's Compensation - This legislation would drastically change the landscape of worker’s compensation.  A significant number of claims currently compensable would no longer be compensable under what is called the “major contributing” cause standard. To be compensable, the work injury has to be the major contributing cause of the need for care. These bills expand the number of conditions to be considered in that calculation. The result would mean unrelated conditions could render an otherwise compensable injury uncompensable. Second, the bill significantly alters the permanent total disability standard. Though poorly drafted, it would deny permanent total disability benefits to even paralyzed individuals.  

Telemedicine - Proposals in the House and Senate will allow out-of-state practitioners who are not licensed in Florida to provide medical services to Florida patients via telemedicine. The two chambers have taken very different approaches to the issue. The Senate version limits the practice of telemedicine to medical doctors and osteopathic physicians licensed in Florida and, for the most part, requires out-of-state-licensed medical doctors and physicians to comply with all requirements and regulatory practice standards required of Florida-licensed physicians. Due to FJA's lobbying, the Senate bill includes Florida state court jurisdiction and venue provisions as well as minimum financial responsibility standards for out-of-state providers.

The House of Representatives has taken a much less regulated approach in its version of the telemedicine package. The House proposes to allow virtually any type of out-of-state telemedicine health care practitioner to provide telehealth services to Florida patients by simply registering with the Department of Health and paying a nominal registration fee, with no other oversight or protections for Florida patients.  FJA will work to ensure that Floridians have protections consistent with current law, particularly with respect to FR, jurisdiction and records protection.

We Go On The Offensive Too — For You and Your Clients…

Wrongful Death Exception - FJA continues to fight for the repeal of the medical malpractice exception to the recovery of damages for wrongful death.

Tire Aging – FJA is working to provide for notice to consumers purchasing tires re age of tires and hazards of old tires.

Booster Seats – FJA is also part of a coalition to require booster seats in cars for children of specified age and height.

Rental Car Financial Responsibility - FJA continues to push for financial responsibility for rental cars ($100,000/$300,000). Currently, Florida citizens are without any legal protections from injury or death or damage to their property without insurance requirements for car rentals. 

 

For more information on FJA’s Legislative & Political efforts or if you have any questions regarding your membership status, contact us by phone at 850.224.9403 or by email at fja@floridajusticeassociation.org.