TALLAHASSEE, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Legislation that would prevent attorneys from taking home exorbitant fees on lawsuits tied to property insurance claims passed the House Commerce Committee today 16 to 7. This is the second and final stop for HB 7071 on the House side. Next, it will be considered on the House floor.
“Florida homeowners can soon breathe a sigh of relief,” said Amanda Bevis, spokesperson for Floridians for Lawsuit Reform. “This legislation will help rein in the frivolous lawsuits and exorbitant attorney’s fees that are increasing the cost of homeowners property insurance. Thank you to Rep. Beltran and the House Commerce Committee for this meaningful legislation.”
HB 7071, sponsored by Rep. Mike Beltran, limits the use of the contingency risk multiplier to apply to only rare and exceptional circumstances. Currently, state law allows for courts to use the contingency risk multiplier in calculating attorney’s fees. As a result, attorneys may be awarded fees up to 30 times more than the value of the claim they represent in property insurance lawsuits.
“The purpose of the attorney fee multiplier is to ensure people are able to find a good lawyer to represent them,” said Rep. Beltran during the committee. “The purpose of this bill is to limit the multiplier to only those circumstances where they truly cannot obtain a lawyer but for the multiplier.”
SB 914, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes is the companion bill to HB 7071. This bill was passed favorably by the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee on Jan. 21 and was passed favorably by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Next, it will be heard in the Senate Rules Committee.
ABOUT FLORIDIANS FOR LAWSUIT REFORM
Floridians for Lawsuit Reform is a 501(c)4 organization that was formed by Floridians to pursue lawsuit reform. The goals of the nonprofit are to: 1) raise awareness for the abuse of the system; 2) demonstrate the impact of frivolous lawsuits and over-the-top attorney fees on homeowners property insurance rates; and 3) promote possible solutions that will benefit Florida families.