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More Limits on Medical Malpractice Suits?

Florida House
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Florida's Legislature has already made it harder to file lawsuits against doctors than against anyone else. Now it wants to crank that up another notch and also spare hospitals and nursing homes from many lawsuits.

As Mary Ellen Klas of the Times/Herald Bureau reports, a bill speeding through the House would require plaintiffs to reach a higher burden of proof  to prevail in medical lawsuits and would block suits against hospitals for errors committed within their walls if they were committed by people who are not employees -- such as most doctors.

An amendment that would have extended the right to sue to parents of an adult who died of alleged medical negligence was defeated, despite the plea of Michael Lawley of Melbourne. He said that his 31-year-old daughter died because of a medical mistake, but he can't get to the bottom of what happened because no one has grounds to sue over it. That's because she wasn't married and had no children.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Shalimar, is sponsor of the bill.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.