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Business groups target Florida's 'bad faith' law

A business friendly trial-lawyer hating group (Associated Industries of Florida, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Justice Reform Institute, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform) have announced they're going after Florida's "bad faith" insurance laws to "protect Florida’s small business owners and consumers from the threat of lawsuit abuse." 

 “We formed this coalition to shine a spotlight on the games that are being played in Florida, and to craft policies that will provide solutions for consumers and businesses,” William W. Large, President of the Florida Justice Reform Institute said in a press release.

According to the press release from Large's group Under Florida’s current law, in the case of an accident, an injured party might file a lawsuit against an insured business or individual—but the law also allows for a trial lawyer to then file a second lawsuit against the insurance company based on the way it handled the claim.  In fact, however, the lawyer has no interest in protecting the insured or settling for policy limits; he seeks a multi-million dollar recovery well above the limits of the insurance policy. As a result, cases that should settle quickly do not.

Trial lawyers say that Large and his business backers just want to limit citizen access to the courthouse, denying people their day in court.

There's no bill. At least not yet.

Posted by Marc Caputo on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011 at 12:17 PM