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U.S. Chamber Critical Of Florida's Legal Climate, Targets Trial Lawyer John Morgan

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.

The U.S. Chamber’s Harold Kim says South Florida—specifically Miami-Dade, is a hotbed of what he calls bogus lawsuits against businesses. Bad faith claims are a big problem, Kim said, but so is direct-advertising.

“We know for a fact that the most expensive per-click word in the google-sphere is  ‘mesothelioma’. It’s over $100 per click. And that speaks to something that I think is far broader, far bigger than just being there, 'for the people'.”

That last dig is a direct-shot at mega-trial lawyer John Morgan, and his Morgan-and-Morgan law firm. The firm uses the slogan, “for the people”.

But its not just Morgan who is a target. The U.S. chamber is also critical of the Florida Supreme Court--saying justices have reversed some of the legal reforms the state legislature put in place, such as medical malpractice.

“If you’re inured because you were wronged by another person, you should absolutely seek recovery in the court system. Unfortunately, the court system and the way its operating now when its all about attorney’s fees and huge jack-pot awards, that where its out-of-whack," Kim said.

The U.S. Chamber wants Florida lawmakers to reconsider legal reforms that limit attorney’s fees and the type of lawsuits that can be brought against companies, But consumer-groups have been critical of business-backed tort reforms, saying many of those plans put purchasers on the losing end.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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