A proposal to increase restrictions on lawsuits over injuries incurred by nursing home residents passed House Judiciary Committee on Friday.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, who sponsored HB 569, put the finishing touches on the bill during negotiations with groups including the Florida Health Care Association, the Florida Justice Association and AARP, before it goes to the full House.
Part of the bill shields “passive” investors from lawsuits over resident care, which supporters say would help promote investments to the nursing-home industry.
The bill also requires evidentiary hearings before litigants can pursue punitive-damage claims against nursing homes.
HB 569 targets nursing homes that do not pay judgments, including those who hold off paying to prevent losing their licenses.
The bill also places constraints on nursing homes about releasing medical records to residents or their representatives. The Senate version (SB 670), also approved by two committees, is ready for a vote by the full Senate.