WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
State News

Florida's Legal Climate Ranks Among Worst In The Country

A sign inside a shop says "Come in, we're open."
Richard Balog

Florida is among the worst states for companies being sued, according to a new Harris Poll.

The 2019 Lawsuit Climate Survey ranks the states on how business executives feel about the fairness of state court systems – and Florida ranks 46th.

Governor Ron DeSantis says a new law to cut down on insurance fraud involving assignment of benefits will make a difference – as will new judicial appointments.

"Folks are looking at Florida. If they see reforms being done politically through the legislative and the elected branches, they can be pretty sure that that’s going to be applied as written," DeSantis said during a news conference at the Capitol, "and you’re not going to see any type of political gymnastics being done via the judiciary.”

The Florida Chamber of Commerce has set a goal for Florida to move from the 5th worst to the 10th best legal climate in America in the next decade.

The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform reports most business leaders consider a state’s lawsuit climate when making decisions about where to locate or expand.


Florida Justice Association President Leslie Mitchell Kroeger issued this statement in response to the survey, which polled about 1,300 senior business executives and attorneys at companies with at least $100 million in annual revenue:

“The Florida Justice Association agrees that it is critical to have a strong, robust system of justice where people can vindicate their rights. Access to our courts and trial by jury are cornerstone rights established in both the Florida and U.S. Constitutions. We look forward to working with Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature during the 2020 session to protect people’s access to justice and develop unbiased, well-researched policy solutions by Florida, for Florida.”