A recent Miami Herald article detailed the Florida Legislators efforts to limit business liability in Covid-19 lawsuits. A lawyer involved with the legislative workshop described it as a “solution in search of a problem”. For years, the Republican controlled house and senate in Florida has created crisis after crisis in order to enact laws that shield various sectors from lawsuits. These frivolous laws pretend to exist to prevent the avalanche of lawsuits that are coming. In actuality, these lawmakers are pandering to business groups and other influential organizations to back them.
Case in point: Representative Lawrence McClure, a Dover republican who is sponsoring House Bill 7, admitted there were fewer than 10 lawsuits that had been filed in Florida with claims related to Covid-19. Ten.
The reality is that Florida has been controlled by a conservative, republican house, senate and executive branch for close to 20-years. They have appointed hundreds of judges. They have enacted some of the strictest regulations and liability protections to protect businesses, healthcare providers and other special interests in the nation. The conservative and anti-consumer laws in Florida have continued to heighten standards of evidence, shorten timeframes for filing suits and legislate multiple obstacles blocking access to the courthouse – the last thing Florida needs is more frivolous laws.
With the spread of coronavirus being an almost universal problem, how is an individual Plaintiff going to prove, within the existing evidentiary burden of “more likely than not”, that they got coronavirus from a particular place? There are no floodgates of coronavirus lawsuits coming. Florida already has multiple protections in place to protect against so called frivolous lawsuits. In fact, the term itself is a wolf-whistle to the anti-consumer forces to enact yet even more layers of legal roadblocks. An honest look at the existing legal system demonstrates clearly that judges and juries consistently prevent and deny meritless claims. Enacting new laws designed to prevent people from accessing justice through the courts are frivolous laws! The voting public needs to know who these lawmakers are come election time so that they are not given another opportunity to enact laws we don’t need that take away people’s rights.