Florida Senate - 2018 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT Bill No. SB 1044 Ì652774BÎ652774 LEGISLATIVE ACTION Senate . House . . . . . ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— The Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs (Book) recommended the following: 1 Senate Amendment (with title amendment) 2 3 Delete everything after the enacting clause 4 and insert: 5 Section 1. This act may be cited as the “Civil Cause of 6 Action for Victims of Human Trafficking Act.” 7 Section 2. Section 787.061, Florida Statutes, is created to 8 read: 9 787.061 Civil actions by victims of human trafficking.— 10 (1) FINDINGS.-The Legislature finds that, to achieve the 11 intent of the Legislature relating to human trafficking 12 expressed in s. 787.06(1)(d), it is necessary to provide a civil 13 cause of action for the recovery of compensatory and punitive 14 damages and costs. 15 (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 16 (a) “Facilitator” means a person who knowingly, or in 17 willful blindness, assists or provides goods or services to a 18 trafficker which assist or enable the trafficker to carry out 19 human trafficking. The term does not include a person who 20 facilitates human trafficking as a result of force, threat, or 21 coercion. 22 (b) “Human trafficking” has the same meaning as provided in 23 s. 787.06. 24 (c) “Trafficker” means any person who knowingly engages in 25 human trafficking, attempts to engage in human trafficking, or 26 benefits financially by receiving anything of value from 27 participation in a venture that has subjected a person to human 28 trafficking. 29 (d) “Trust fund” means the Trust Fund for Victims of Human 30 Trafficking and Prevention created in s. 787.0611. 31 (e) “Venture” means any group of two or more individuals 32 associated in fact, whether or not a legal entity. 33 (f) “Victim of human trafficking” means a person subjected 34 to coercion, as defined in s. 787.06, or by any other means, for 35 the purpose of being used in human trafficking; a child under 18 36 years of age subjected to human trafficking; or an individual 37 subjected to human trafficking as defined by federal law. 38 (g) “Willful blindness” exists when a person has knowledge 39 of information that would raise suspicions in a reasonable 40 person and he or she deliberately refrains from obtaining 41 confirmation of or acting on the information because he or she 42 wants to remain in ignorance, such that knowledge of the facts 43 avoided can reasonably and fairly be imputed to the person who 44 avoided confirming it. 45 (3) CIVIL CAUSE OF ACTION.— 46 (a) A victim of human trafficking has a civil cause of 47 action against the trafficker or facilitator who victimized her 48 or him and may recover damages as provided in this section. 49 (b) The action may be brought in any court of competent 50 jurisdiction, and the standard of proof is a preponderance of 51 the evidence. 52 (c) A victim who prevails in any such action is entitled to 53 recover economic and noneconomic damages, penalties, punitive 54 damages, reasonable attorney fees, reasonable investigative 55 expenses, and costs. 56 1. Economic damages include, but are not limited to, past 57 and future medical and mental health expenses; repatriation 58 expenses, when a victim elects repatriation; and all other 59 reasonable costs and expenses incurred by the victim in the past 60 or estimated to be incurred by the victim in the future as a 61 result of the human trafficking. 62 2. Noneconomic damages are nonfinancial losses that would 63 not have occurred but for the victimization, and include pain 64 and suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, mental 65 anguish, disfigurement, loss of capacity for enjoyment of life, 66 and other nonfinancial losses. 67 (d) The remedies provided in this section are in addition 68 to and cumulative with other legal and administrative remedies 69 available to victims of human trafficking, except that a victim 70 may not recover under both this section and s. 772.104(2). If a 71 parent or legal guardian knowingly or through willful blindness 72 trafficked the victim, facilitated such trafficking, or 73 otherwise participated in the human trafficking of the victim, 74 such parent or legal guardian is not entitled to damages or 75 distributions under this section. 76 (e) If a victim prevails in an action under this section, 77 in addition to any other award imposed, the court shall assess a 78 civil penalty against the defendant in the amount of $50,000. 79 This penalty is in addition to and not in lieu of any other 80 damage award. The civil penalty must be assessed by the court 81 and may not be disclosed to the jury. Proceeds from this civil 82 penalty shall be deposited into the trust fund. 83 (f) If one or more law enforcement agencies rescued the 84 victim or located the property where the abuse or exploitation 85 of a victim or victims occurred, the court must impose a civil 86 penalty against the defendant in the amount of $50,000 and award 87 the penalty to the law enforcement agencies to fund future 88 efforts to combat human trafficking. The court must equitably 89 distribute this civil penalty among the law enforcement 90 agencies. 91 (g) The court shall have specific authority to consolidate 92 civil actions for the same trafficker or facilitator for the 93 purpose of case resolution and aggregate jurisdiction. 94 (h) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the 95 amount of punitive damages awarded under this section shall be 96 equally divided between the victim and the trust fund. 97 (4) STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.—The statute of limitations as 98 specified in ss. 95.11(7) and 95.11(9) is applicable to actions 99 brought under this section. 100 (5) AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE.—In any action brought under this 101 section against the owner or operator of a public lodging 102 establishment based on a claim of vicarious liability, it is an 103 affirmative defense to damages recoverable under such claim if 104 the owner or operator proves by the preponderance of evidence 105 that: 106 (a) It required management employees and employees of the 107 establishment reasonably expected to routinely interact with 108 guests to complete an educational program designed to 109 effectively train such employees in the identification, 110 prevention, and reporting of suspected human trafficking within 111 30 days after hiring or by January 1, 2019, whichever occurs 112 later; 113 (b) It had in place an effective employee protocol or 114 employee code of conduct to prevent, detect, and report 115 suspected human trafficking; and 116 (c) Any employee alleged in the action to have been 117 facilitators of, or otherwise participants in, human 118 trafficking, complied with the recommendations and practices 119 suggested or required in the training, protocols, or policies 120 required in this subsection. 121 Section 3. Subsection (4) is added to section 772.104, 122 Florida Statutes, to read: 123 772.104 Civil cause of action.— 124 (4) This section does not apply to a cause of action that 125 may be brought under s. 787.061. 126 Section 4. Subsections (7) and (9) of section 95.11, 127 Florida Statutes, are amended to read: 128 95.11 Limitations other than for the recovery of real 129 property.—Actions other than for recovery of real property shall 130 be commenced as follows: 131 (7) FOR INTENTIONAL TORTS BASED ON ABUSE.—An action founded 132 on alleged abuse, as defined in s. 39.01, s. 415.102, or s. 133 984.03,
orincest, as defined in s. 826.04, or human 134 trafficking, as defined in s. 787.06, may be commenced at any 135 time within 7 years after the age of majority, or within 4 years 136 after the injured person leaves the dependency of the abuser, or 137 within 4 years from the time of discovery by the injured party 138 of both the injury and the causal relationship between the 139 injury and the abuse, whichever occurs later. 140 (9) SEXUAL BATTERY OFFENSES ON VICTIMS UNDER AGE 16.—An 141 action related to an act constituting a violation of s. 794.011 142 or brought pursuant to s. 787.061 involving a victim who was 143 under the age of 16 at the time of the act may be commenced at 144 any time. This subsection applies to any such action other than 145 one which would have been time barred on or before July 1, 2010. 146 Section 5. This act shall take effect October 1, 2018. 147 148 ================= T I T L E A M E N D M E N T ================ 149 And the title is amended as follows: 150 Delete everything before the enacting clause 151 and insert: 152 A bill to be entitled 153 An act relating to victims of human trafficking; 154 providing a short title; creating s. 787.061, F.S.; 155 providing legislative findings; defining terms; 156 providing a civil cause of action for victims of human 157 trafficking against a trafficker or facilitator; 158 providing procedures and requirements for bringing a 159 claim; providing for damages, penalties, punitive 160 damages, attorney fees, expenses, and costs; requiring 161 a court to impose civil penalties in certain 162 circumstances; providing for the deposit or 163 distribution of civil penalties; requiring the equal 164 distribution of punitive damages between victims and 165 the trust fund; providing that such actions are 166 subject to specified statute of limitations; providing 167 an affirmative defense for owners or operators of 168 public lodging establishments under certain 169 circumstances; amending s. 772.104, F.S.; specifying 170 that certain provisions concerning civil actions for 171 criminal practices do not apply to actions that may be 172 brought under s. 787.061, F.S.; amending s. 95.11, 173 F.S.; conforming provisions to changes made by the 174 act; providing an effective date.