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Daily Legislative Brief from March 9, 2017

Legal & Judicial

SB 334-Relating to Prejudgment Interest
On Thursday, March 9th, SB 334, relating to Prejudgment Interest, by Senator Greg Steube (R-Sarasota), was heard by the Senate Committee on Rules and was temporarily postponed. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, spoke in opposition to this bill.

This bill seeks to mandate that prejudgment interest be awarded to both economic and noneconomic damages recovered. For economic damages, interest would accrue from starting the date the plaintiff incurred economic losses. For noneconomic damages, interest would accrue starting from the date the defendant received notice of a claim from the plaintiff. Currently, prejudgment interest is awardable on economic losses at the discretion of the judge.  Florida businesses are gravely concerned about the addition of prejudgment interest on noneconomic losses due to the subjective nature of these costs.

Today, an amendment offered by Senator Tom Lee (R-Brandon), was adopted. This amendment takes out the provision for awarding prejudgment interest on economic damages and removes the mandate that the court must award prejudgment interest. While AIF thanks Senator Lee for offering this amendment, AIF still has concerns with noneconomic damages remaining in the bill.

AIF OPPOSES legislation that will increase the already daunting costs of litigation on Florida’s businesses.