Attorneys are abusing the civil system in Florida. Why that matters to everyone, not just those pursuing relief through the courts.
By Heather Collins
There’s a massive scam underway that threatens every small business in Florida.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in business, what you mean to your community, or even if you’ve done anything wrong. All that matters is that this scam is draining your bank account.
The abuse of damages in litigation has been steadily growing, and things are reaching a tipping point. Damages are an essential component of any civil lawsuit. Without damages, there would be no incentive for plaintiffs to bring forth their claims, and defendants would have no reason to settle.
However, the determination of damages can often be a complex and contentious process. In Florida, a recent trend towards a decline in the accuracy of damage calculations has led to a spike in lawsuit abuse.
Plaintiffs are now routinely filing lawsuits for inflated amounts, confident that they will be able to negotiate a favorable settlement. Meanwhile, defendants are forced to expend significant resources defending against these frivolous claims.
The net result is that everyone ends up losing. Plaintiffs end up with less money than they would have if they had filed a more reasonable claim, defendants end up paying more in legal fees, and the court system is bogged down with cases that should never have been filed in the first place.
Worse yet, insurance companies tend to play a part in the payouts, and they are responding to larger-than- expected settlements by raising rates on everyone.
Lawmakers need to step up and find ways to reverse the trend. If not, it will only get worse, and everyone will suffer as a result.
Heather Collins is a Florida resident from Gulf Breeze.