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Statement By:
Barney Bishop III, President and CEO, Associated Industries of Florida

Regarding the Senate’s Passage of Crashworthiness Legislation

March 16, 2011

“The need for tort reform in the Sunshine State continues to be urgent. Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) supports common-sense legislation that limits excessive litigation costs and spurs economic development in our state. AIF applauds the Senate’s passage of SB 142, which will overturn a current standard set by the Florida Supreme Court that has unjustly prejudiced juries against businesses for far too long.

We commend Sen. Garrett Richter (R-Naples) for sponsoring this important legislation that will provide juries with a complete picture and all the relevant information when an automobile manufacturer is sued over a vehicle’s crashworthiness. Florida is the only state that does not allow evidence to be introduced regarding the driver’s condition at the time of an automobile crash. Not only is this unfair, it has ultimately prevented many automotive manufacturing facilities from locating to our state, costing Florida countless jobs and much-needed economic expansion.

Just like any individual or business, auto manufacturers are entitled to a level playing field in the courtroom. In these turbulent financial times, we can no longer allow the legal climate to impede efforts to attract businesses to our state.”