(JustPatriots.com)- The American Tort Reform Foundation released its annual “Judicial Hellholes” report this week and for the third year in a row, Florida continues to make progress.
In 2018, Florida was ranked the worst judicial hellhole in the nation. But by 2020, it has fallen off the list entirely.
According to this year’s report, while the Florida Supreme Court and Governor Ron DeSantis have done a great deal to address tort abuse, the Florida legislature continues to stall “much-needed reforms.”
William Large, the president of the Florida Justice Reform Institute, praised Governor DeSantis for what he’s accomplished since taking office in January 2019. Large praised DeSantis for his response to COVID-19, saying the governor ensured that businesses could remain open without “fear of an avalanche of lawsuits.” He also praised DeSantis for fighting against “frivolous property insurance litigation” and for his judicial appointments.
DeSantis, Large added, “continues to pull Florida out of the judicial hellhole.”
In its report released on Tuesday, the American Tort Reform Association called out Florida’s legislature for its failure to enact reforms, noting that among the nearly 3,000 bills that were filed but never passed was legislation that would have enacted a “reckless disregard” standard for bad faith insurance claims.
However, the “Judicial Hellholes” report named the Florida Supreme Court a “Point of Light” for creating a more fair and balanced civil justice system.
William Large also gave credit to the Florida Supreme Court for its work in adopting a federal summary judgment standard, as well as improving fairness and efficiency in the justice system by using juries only in cases where the facts are in dispute.
The Florida Supreme Court also ruled that Florida’s “apex doctrine” extended to high-ranking corporate officers, which protected them from depositions and discovery meant only to harass and force meritless settlements.
Large credited Governor DeSantis for the Florida Supreme Court using its rulemaking authority to “address entrenched, systemic problems” and “remaking our judicial system for the better.
In this year’s “Judicial Hellholes” report, California was ranked the number one worst hellhole and New York State ranked at number two.