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Florida Chamber Targets 'PreJudgment' Legislation


A perennial battle between the business lobby and trial attorneys is heating up in the Florida Senate.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce is fighting a relatively obscure measure by Republican Greg Steube of Sarasota that would grant plaintiffs higher interest charges in personal injury and wrongful death cases.

Chamber executive vice president David Hart insists businesses would face more pressure to settle claims.  

“There’s sort of this chilling effect on you which just pushes you. One more straw on the camel’s back, to say the heck with it, I’m going to make this problem go away, and just pay it, even if I’m not guilty of anything.”

Steube chairs Senate Judiciary and the measure just cleared his committee. A House version has yet to be heard.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.