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2016 Florida Statutes

SECTION 735
Punitive damages; exceptions; limitation.
F.S. 768.735
768.735 Punitive damages; exceptions; limitation.
(1) Sections 768.72(2)-(4), 768.725, and 768.73 do not apply to any civil action based upon child abuse, abuse of the elderly under chapter 415, or abuse of the developmentally disabled. Such actions are governed by applicable statutes and controlling judicial precedent. This section does not apply to claims brought pursuant to s. 400.023 or s. 429.29.
(2)(a) In any civil action based upon child abuse, abuse of the elderly under chapter 415, or abuse of the developmentally disabled, and involving the award of punitive damages, the judgment for the total amount of punitive damages awarded to a claimant may not exceed three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded to each person entitled thereto by the trier of fact, except as provided in paragraph (b). This subsection does not apply to any class action.
(b) If any award for punitive damages exceeds the limitation specified in paragraph (a), the award is presumed to be excessive and the defendant is entitled to remittitur of the amount in excess of the limitation unless the claimant demonstrates to the court by clear and convincing evidence that the award is not excessive in light of the facts and circumstances that were presented to the trier of fact.
(c) This subsection is not intended to prohibit an appropriate court from exercising its jurisdiction under s. 768.74 in determining the reasonableness of an award of punitive damages which is less than three times the amount of compensatory damages.
(d) The jury may not be instructed or informed as to the provisions of this section.
(3) This section is remedial in nature and shall take effect upon becoming a law.
History.s. 24, ch. 99-225; s. 11, ch. 2001-45; s. 107, ch. 2006-197.