State lawmakers are weighing a bill that would reimpose caps on non-economic damages in all Florida injury lawsuit and damage claims, limiting plaintiffs to $1 million for damages like pain and suffering and loss of consortium. Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers know such caps were already struck down as unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court, but legislators are reportedly banking on the fact that more newly-appointed conservative justices will take a different view.
Florida State House Bill 17 is slated for consideration by the House Judiciary Committee, after already moving through the Commerce Committee and the Civil Justice Committee. It prevailed, though votes were split along party lines.
The question is whether the new state supreme court will adhere to the constitutionality precedent set by the previous justices. In the 2014 Florida Supreme Court ruling of McCall v. U.S., the court rejected lawmaker-initiated non-economic damage caps in wrongful death lawsuits, finding them to be a constitutional violation on the equal protection clause. Continue reading