Florida Legislature to Consider Increasing Limits on Tort Liability Claims Against State

Florida Legislature to Consider Increasing Limits on Tort Liability Claims Against State

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
November 17, 2023

Tallahassee, Fl- Florida Senator Jason Brodeur (R) has filed a bill that would increase the limits on claims against Florida regarding tortious actions committed by the state. 

Senator Brodeur’s SB 472 would increase the limit from $200,000 to $400,000. 

According to Florida’s sovereign immunity statute, the state can only pay up to $200,000 per person for damages arising out of a lawsuit. 

However, Florida statutes also provide that portions of settlements surpassing the established limit “may be paid in part or in whole only by further act of the Legislature.”

If Brodeur’s bill passes, Florida could settle claims up to $400,000 without requiring an additional act on behalf of the legislature. 

Ten relief bills have already been filed for the state to pay out damages exceeding $200,000 in this term alone. 

While Brodeur’s bill would relieve pressure on the legislature from having to directly authorize some damages, others would still have to be addressed by the legislature. 

Last September, for example, Florida Representative Ralph E. Massullo filed a bill that would compel the Florida Legislature to decide over the disbursement of a $2.2 million settlement. 

Representative Massullo’s bill responds to a ruling of the circuit court for the Eighth Judicial Circuit awarding Mark LaGatta damages caused by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). 

Brodeur also recently spoke in favor of an Iran sanctions bill Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed into law in response to Iran’s sponsorship of Hamas’ war on Israel. 

“Hamas is supported by Iran and Florida taxpayers will not be a part of state-sponsored terrorism,” said Brodeur. 

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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