A controversial bill that would raise the standards for suing a nursing home for punitive damages appears to be finished for this session.
Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, said the bill (SB 1384) “hasn’t moved at all in the House, so unless some movement in the House” it looks like time has run out. Galvano also said the bill is off the Special Order calendar in the Senate.
The bill had the backing of the nursing home industry but had angered groups like the AARP and the Florida Justice Association as well as relatives of nursing home patients.
Kristen Knapp, communications director for the Florida Health Care Association, the trade group representing 500 of the state’s nearly 700 nursing home facilities, had said the bill was needed to counter “predatory trial lawyers who are using punitive damages to inflate the cost of settlements.” AARP Florida advocacy manager Jack McRay has said that it’s “already exceedingly difficult to get punitive damages in a case.” Making it harder, he said, “eliminates the deterrent factor for future behavior.”