Legislature's first major tort bill sails through Florida Senate judiciary committee

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From Michael Peltier from the News Service of Florida: Automakers would be granted more protection from lawsuit losses in crash cases under a measure that got its first committee hearing Tuesday in a battle pitting business groups and the Republican-led Legislature against trial attorneys.

By a 5-1 vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a measure (SB 142) that would reverse a 2001 Florida Supreme Court ruling surrounding what evidence can be entered into trial in automobile product defect cases. Brought at the behest of the Ford Motor Co., the bill would allow automakers to admit additional evidence including driver error in cases of enhanced injury caused by design flaws and product defects.

Backers say the measure, sponsored by Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples , would allow the jury to get

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.