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Senate Rules panel temporarily postpones prejudgment interest bill

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

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.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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