PLEASE let your legislators know that you don’t want them to let the global corporations take away your rights in Florida!

House Bill 837 creates laws that would block access to justice for Floridians. This legislation would create a new tax for every Floridian by making citizens pay when a business or insurance company fails to fairly compensate victims for harm they or their insureds have caused. If this legislation passes, limiting what victims and their families can recover after a catastrophic event, more people will be forced to utilize taxpayer-funded programs and services.

There are six pieces of HB 837 that would make unprecedented changes to Florida’s civil justice system.

  1. Allowing insurance companies to act in bad faith

Defanging bad faith law, that has been in place since 1938, will remove any financial incentive for insurance companies to protect their customers and settle claims. Insurance companies are supposed to act in the interests of their insured.

This law removes legal protections of not doing that, and will allow insurance companies to pad their bottom lines while exposing their customers to debts that could exceed their insurance coverage by order of magnitude.

  1. Caps on Medical Damages

Currently in Florida, if you are injured and go in front of a jury, you tell the jury how much your treatment actually costs, and what it is likely to cost in the future. Under this bill, the jury will only hear a number that is 140% of what Medicaid pays for that treatment.

Remember, Medicaid is the payer of last resort, subsidized by taxpayers, and pays very little for treatment. This is why so few medical providers are willing to accept Medicaid. If this bill becomes law, regardless of how much medical care you had, or will need, the jury will hear an artificially low number.

This bill does NOT require doctors to accept that rate, so good luck finding treatment in the future!  

  1. Attorney Fees Reform (§627.428)

This legislation seeks to repeal §627.428, which has been in existence for over 130 years. Its sole purpose is to protect David against Goliath. It protects insurance consumers who purchase auto, health, life, or any other first-party insurance from companies that would otherwise delay, deny, or underpay claims. It holds the big insurance companies accountable to its paying consumers. 

Insurance companies sometimes sue their own insureds to try to get out of paying on claims. These lawsuits are called “declaratory judgment actions”. The reason these suits aren’t filed in every claim is that if the insurance company sues their customer and loses, the insurance company has to pay the customer’s attorney fees.

This has been the law in Florida since 1893! This bill will make it impossible for a policyholder to find competent representation unless they are able to finance a legal defense that could cost as much as $250,000, out of their own pocket. Only the wealthy will be protected if the insurance companies get their way.

  1. Contributory Negligence Standard

This bill would shift Florida from a comparative fault standard to a contributory negligence standard of fault. Imagine a trucking company trying to save a few bucks forces a driver to work while exhausted, and that driver crashes into you, paralyzing you from the neck down.

Under this bill if that trucker is found by a jury to be 49% responsible for the crash, that trucker owes you nothing. However if the opposite happened, if the trucker is 51% responsible for the crash, he only owes 51% of the number the jury awards. This bill lets guilty parties off the hook for their actions.  

  1. Eliminates Safeguards

By adding the intentional tortfeasor to the jury form, the bill guts protections for employees and patrons of businesses that currently have a duty to ensure their safety. This will allow billion-dollar international hotel chains to point the finger at career criminals while they save money by cutting security costs, rather than taking responsibility for the dangerous environments they create.

  1. Statute of Limitations Cut in Half 

An amendment added to HB 837 changes the statute of limitations on all negligence claims from four years to two. The insurance companies that want this bill complain there are too many lawsuits currently…. This amendment would force injured Floridians to file lawsuits before they finish healing, in order to preserve their claims. 

What The Changes Mean For You

The six elements above block access to justice and create a new tax for innocent Floridians. The new tax would make the public pay when a business or insurance company fails to fairly pay for harm they or their insured has caused. If this legislation passes, limiting what victims and their families can recover after a catastrophic event, more people will have to access taxpayer funded programs and services. Goodbye Sunshine State, hello welfare state. 

How did this even come about? Giant corporations like Uber and the multi-billion dollar insurance industry have convinced lawmakers that the reason insurance rates and the cost of doing business in Florida are too high is that they get sued. It’s important to remember WHY they get sued in the first place, and why juries award monetary damages.

Insurance companies get sued when they fail to honor their insurance contracts and fairly pay claims. Trucking companies get sued when they make Florida’s roadways unsafe. Disney gets sued when it fails to maintain its rides or provide a safe environment for visitors to its properties.

Corporations get sued when they cause harm to you or your family. However, the corporate elite in Florida have now gone to lawmakers and convinced them that they should not be held responsible for the harm they cause – and what’s worse, they want to put a cap on the value of an injured victim’s life.

The lawmakers are trumpeting that insurance companies will lower their rates if this bill becomes law. But nowhere in the bill does it say anything about holding these companies and the insurance industry accountable for passing on savings to their insureds. Rates are NOT guaranteed to be lowered if this bill passes.

The insurance industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry with increased profits year over year and continually is raising its rates. This bill would allow them to profit even more and pocket the money that should be given to the insurance consumers, the everyday Floridian. Do NOT let the big insurance companies take away our rights.

These are our fundamental rights that are being threatened. Life as we know it in Florida is under attack. The rights of every Floridian are under assault by insurance companies and corporate elites who think they can dictate which rights should be preserved and which can be tossed aside.

These corporations would dictate our rights and block courthouse doors. Injured Floridians will have to jump through more hoops than they already do to get in courthouse doors. The right to trial by JURY, not government, is a fundamental right that multinational corporations shouldn’t get to take away, because they have deep pockets. 

We Need YOUR Help. What Can You Do?

Contact your state representatives. Let them know you want them to vote against HB 837. Below are reps from the counties we serve, but you can visit all counties through this link: Representatives for 2022 – 2024 (Speaker Renner ) I Florida House of Representatives (

For Martin County residents:

John Snyder, District 86, Who also happens to be the Vice Chair of the Civil Justice Subcommittee that passed this bill to move forward on 2/24, Mr. Snyder voted in favor, 772-210-5626 or [email protected]

Toby Overdorf, District 85, who also sits on the Civil Justice Subcommittee and voted for this bill to move forward on 2/24, 772-221-4961 or [email protected]

Senator Gayle Harrell, District 31,772-221-4019 or [email protected] 

For St. Lucie County residents:

Toby Overdorf, District 85, who also sits on the Civil Justice Subcommittee and voted for this bill to move forward on 2/24,772-221-4961 or Toby.Overdorf@myflori

Dana Trabulsy, District 84, 772-595-1391 or [email protected]

Senator Gayle Harrell, District 31,772-221-4019 or [email protected] 

Senator Erin Grall, District 29, 772-595-1398 or [email protected]

For Okeechobee County residents:

Kaylee Tuck, District 83, 863-386-6000 or [email protected]

Senator Erin Grall, District 29, 772-595-1398 or [email protected]

What Can You Tell These Legislators When You Email or Call? 

Here are some talking points:

  • Don’t let big insurance take our rights away.
  • This bill would take away our right to trial by jury, and instead have trial by the king/government with caps on medical damages . . . and further force victims of crashes arbitration in multiple claimant crashes.
  • Tell them how wrong it is to allow the insurance industry (through the government) to limit medical bills to 140% of Medicaid, resulting in institutional socialist medical care by the government . . . instead of the best care victims of negligence deserve.
  • How this rights-grabbing bill would make Florida a more dangerous place by letting hotels and apartment complexes and daycare centers put onto the verdict form the very criminal these establishments are supposed to be protecting us from …and would eliminate the incentive to exercise reasonable care to protect residents/customers/children  in their care (security, video surveillance, fences, locks, protection etc.)
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving has recently announced they are opposed to this bill. Why do you think the insurance companies are right and MADD wrong?
  • How taking away the right to fees when insurance companies wrongfully deny benefits …would hurt every policyholder of any life insurance, health insurance tee..• because the insurance industry, without the threat of consequences for bad actions, will always underpay …forcing the policyholder to find/hire/pay a lawyer to take a case for benefits they are entitled to in the first place.

Want to read up on the bill? HB 837 can be read here. Watch the Florida Channel House Civil Justice Subcommittee’s hearing on HB 837 that happened on 2/24/2023 here.

Check out the below news articles about HB 837:

Contact KW Stuart Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers For Help Today

For more information, please contact the Stuart personal injury law firm of KW Stuart Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.

We proudly serve Martin County and its surrounding areas in Florida:

KW Stuart Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers – Stuart
73 SW Flagler Ave
Stuart, FL 34994
(772) 444-7000