Senate Rules panel temporarily postpones prejudgment interest bill - Florida Politics

Senate Rules panel temporarily postpones prejudgment interest bill

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A Senate bill that would allow plaintiffs to recover prejudgment interest on noneconomic claims, including pain and suffering, was suddenly postponed during its final review panel Thursday.

Sen. Rob Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican, moved to yank the bill (SB 334) from consideration during its public comment period before the Rules Committee.

When done during a hearing, such a move suggests a lawmaker has counted votes and determined a measure isn’t going to pass.

The bill is being pushed by Sarasota Republican Greg Steube. A companion bill is in the House.

Business interests largely oppose the proposal because they fear it will increase the cost of doing business; the state’s trial lawyers are in favor.

“Prejudgment interest is the interest on a judgment which is calculated from the date of the injury or loss until a final judgment is entered for the plaintiff,” a bill analysis says.

Current law provides for prejudgment interest only on economic claims, or tangible financial losses, or when both sides bargained for it in a contract.

Jim Rosica covers state government from Tallahassee for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.
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