tort reform

Brian Turner via Flickr

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says Florida’s lawsuit climate is among the worst in the nation—for businesses. The business lobby association is pushing state legislators to crack down on trial lawyers—including one big name in the industry.

A years-long effort to revamp the rules for nursing home lawsuits could get a green light this year. Organizations that have historically opposed nursing home tort reform are signaling they won’t oppose the proposals and supporters say they’re confident this is the year for change.

Susan Sermoneta

A bill that passed its first Senate hearing today aims to limit which parties can be brought to court in nursing home disputes.  Nursing home residents would only able to file initial complaints against the nursing home itself, the subcontractors they employ, and direct caregivers.  Under the bill, introduced by State Senator John Thrasher (R-St.Augustine), passive investors are less likely to face litigation, and Thrasher says this will encourage investment.

Jackson Healthcare

It now looks likely that Florida lawmakers will at least consider doing something about medical malpractice tort reform this year, but there are differing ideas about what should be done.

One group that’s pushing for reform is called “Patients for Fair Compensation”.  It’s based in Alpharetta, Georgia, a state that’s also considering changes to its medical malpractice laws.  The group is chaired by Rick Jackson.  He’s also chairman and chief executive officer of Jackson Healthcare, the nation's third largest healthcare staffing company.