WASHINGTON — The American Trucking Associations (ATA) is applauding Florida for enacting House Bill 837, which amounts to comprehensive legislation to reform the civil litigation system.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law during a Friday, March 24, ceremony in Tallahassee after the state senate passed the legislation on Thursday, March 23.
Among other provisions, the new law increases transparency in civil proceedings by curtailing the ability of plaintiffs’ attorneys to introduce fictitious and inflated medical bills at trial.
According to an ATA news release, “Phantom damages are but one of the tactics used by the plaintiffs’ bar to create a pervasive climate of lawsuit abuse that has sent insurance rates soaring to unsustainable levels, adding a new layer of stress to the supply chain.”
“We mean what we said about lawsuit abuse — enough is enough,” ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said. “When the plaintiffs’ bar perverts civil litigation into a profit center to line their pockets, the costs are borne by everyone — not just trucking companies, but consumers too in the form of higher insurance rates and higher prices for everyday goods.”
Florida follows a growing number of states who have enacted other and similar lawsuit abuse reforms, including Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Texas and West Virginia.
“It is a historic day in Florida,” Alix Miller, president and CEO of Florida Trucking Association, said. “For decades, the trucking industry has been driven out of business because unscrupulous attorneys were allowed to take advantage of an unfair judicial system. With the signing of this legislation into law, Florida is taking a major step in shutting down billboard lawyers and strengthening our supply chain and economy.”
Spear concluded: “We thank Governor DeSantis, Senate President Passidomo, House Speaker Renner, Representatives Gregory and Fabricio, Senator Hutson, and the Florida Trucking Association for their outstanding leadership. They have enacted common-sense reforms that restore balance and fairness to the justice system and protect the supply chain from further assault.”
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.