Florida Senate - 2023                                     SB 236
       By Senator Hutson
       7-00959H-23                                            2023236__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to civil remedies; amending s. 57.104,
    3         F.S.; creating a rebuttable presumption that a
    4         lodestar fee is a sufficient and reasonable attorney
    5         fee in most civil actions; providing an exception;
    6         amending s. 95.11, F.S.; reducing the statute of
    7         limitations for negligence actions; amending s.
    8         624.155, F.S.; providing standards for bad faith
    9         actions; providing for the distribution of proceeds
   10         when two or more third-party claims arising out of a
   11         single occurrence exceed policy limits; creating s.
   12         768.0427, F.S.; providing definitions; providing
   13         standards for the admissibility of evidence to prove
   14         the cost of damages for medical expenses in certain
   15         civil actions; requiring certain disclosures with
   16         respect to claims for medical expenses for treatment
   17         rendered under letters of protection; specifying the
   18         damages that may be recovered by a claimant for the
   19         reasonable and necessary cost of medical care;
   20         creating s. 768.0701, F.S.; requiring the trier of
   21         fact to consider the fault of certain persons who
   22         contribute to an injury; amending s. 768.79, F.S.;
   23         providing for the applicability of that section;
   24         amending s. 768.81, F.S.; providing that a party in a
   25         negligence action who is at fault by a specified
   26         amount may not recover damages under a comparative
   27         negligence action; providing applicability; repealing
   28         ss. 626.9373 and 627.428, F.S., relating to attorney
   29         fees payable to insureds filing actions against
   30         insurers; amending ss. 624.123, 624.488, 627.062,
   31         627.401, 627.727, 627.736, 627.756, and 628.6016,
   32         F.S.; conforming provisions to changes made by the
   33         act; repealing ss. 631.70 and 631.926, F.S., relating
   34         to awards of attorney fees; amending ss. 475.01,
   35         475.611, 517.191, 627.441, and 632.638, F.S.;
   36         conforming provisions to changes made by the act;
   37         providing a directive to the Division of Law Revision;
   38         providing applicability; providing an effective date.
   40  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   42         Section 1. Section 57.104, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   43  read:
   44         57.104 Computation of attorney attorneys’ fees.—
   45         (1) In any action in which attorney attorneys’ fees are to
   46  be determined or awarded by the court, the court shall consider,
   47  among other things, time and labor of any legal assistants who
   48  contributed nonclerical, meaningful legal support to the matter
   49  involved and who are working under the supervision of an
   50  attorney. For purposes of this section “legal assistant” means a
   51  person, who under the supervision and direction of a licensed
   52  attorney engages in legal research, and case development or
   53  planning in relation to modifications or initial proceedings,
   54  services, processes, or applications; or who prepares or
   55  interprets legal documents or selects, compiles, and uses
   56  technical information from references such as digests,
   57  encyclopedias, or practice manuals and analyzes and follows
   58  procedural problems that involve independent decisions.
   59         (2)In any action in which attorney fees are determined or
   60  awarded by the court, there is a strong presumption that a
   61  lodestar fee is sufficient and reasonable. This presumption may
   62  be overcome only in a rare and exceptional circumstance with
   63  evidence that competent counsel could not otherwise be retained.
   64         Section 2. Subsections (3), (4), and (10) of section 95.11,
   65  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   66         95.11 Limitations other than for the recovery of real
   67  property.—Actions other than for recovery of real property shall
   68  be commenced as follows:
   69         (3) WITHIN FOUR YEARS.—
   70         (a) An action founded on negligence.
   71         (b) An action relating to the determination of paternity,
   72  with the time running from the date the child reaches the age of
   73  majority.
   74         (b)(c) An action founded on the design, planning, or
   75  construction of an improvement to real property, with the time
   76  running from the date of actual possession by the owner, the
   77  date of the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, the date of
   78  abandonment of construction if not completed, or the date of
   79  completion of the contract or termination of the contract
   80  between the professional engineer, registered architect, or
   81  licensed contractor and his or her employer, whichever date is
   82  latest; except that, when the action involves a latent defect,
   83  the time runs from the time the defect is discovered or should
   84  have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence. In any
   85  event, the action must be commenced within 10 years after the
   86  date of actual possession by the owner, the date of the issuance
   87  of a certificate of occupancy, the date of abandonment of
   88  construction if not completed, or the date of completion of the
   89  contract or termination of the contract between the professional
   90  engineer, registered architect, or licensed contractor and his
   91  or her employer, whichever date is latest. However,
   92  counterclaims, cross-claims, and third-party claims that arise
   93  out of the conduct, transaction, or occurrence set out or
   94  attempted to be set out in a pleading may be commenced up to 1
   95  year after the pleading to which such claims relate is served,
   96  even if such claims would otherwise be time barred. With respect
   97  to actions founded on the design, planning, or construction of
   98  an improvement to real property, if such construction is
   99  performed pursuant to a duly issued building permit and if a
  100  local enforcement agency, state enforcement agency, or special
  101  inspector, as those terms are defined in s. 553.71, has issued a
  102  final certificate of occupancy or certificate of completion,
  103  then as to the construction which is within the scope of such
  104  building permit and certificate, the correction of defects to
  105  completed work or repair of completed work, whether performed
  106  under warranty or otherwise, does not extend the period of time
  107  within which an action must be commenced. Completion of the
  108  contract means the later of the date of final performance of all
  109  the contracted services or the date that final payment for such
  110  services becomes due without regard to the date final payment is
  111  made.
  112         (c)(d) An action to recover public money or property held
  113  by a public officer or employee, or former public officer or
  114  employee, and obtained during, or as a result of, his or her
  115  public office or employment.
  116         (d)(e) An action for injury to a person founded on the
  117  design, manufacture, distribution, or sale of personal property
  118  that is not permanently incorporated in an improvement to real
  119  property, including fixtures.
  120         (e)(f) An action founded on a statutory liability.
  121         (f)(g) An action for trespass on real property.
  122         (g)(h) An action for taking, detaining, or injuring
  123  personal property.
  124         (h)(i) An action to recover specific personal property.
  125         (i)(j) A legal or equitable action founded on fraud.
  126         (j)(k) A legal or equitable action on a contract,
  127  obligation, or liability not founded on a written instrument,
  128  including an action for the sale and delivery of goods, wares,
  129  and merchandise, and on store accounts.
  130         (k)(l) An action to rescind a contract.
  131         (l)(m) An action for money paid to any governmental
  132  authority by mistake or inadvertence.
  133         (m)(n) An action for a statutory penalty or forfeiture.
  134         (n)(o) An action for assault, battery, false arrest,
  135  malicious prosecution, malicious interference, false
  136  imprisonment, or any other intentional tort, except as provided
  137  in subsections (4), (5), and (7).
  138         (o)(p) Any action not specifically provided for in these
  139  statutes.
  140         (p)(q) An action alleging a violation, other than a willful
  141  violation, of s. 448.110.
  142         (4) WITHIN TWO YEARS.—
  143         (a)An action founded on negligence.
  144         (b)(a) An action for professional malpractice, other than
  145  medical malpractice, whether founded on contract or tort;
  146  provided that the period of limitations shall run from the time
  147  the cause of action is discovered or should have been discovered
  148  with the exercise of due diligence. However, the limitation of
  149  actions herein for professional malpractice shall be limited to
  150  persons in privity with the professional.
  151         (c)(b) An action for medical malpractice shall be commenced
  152  within 2 years from the time the incident giving rise to the
  153  action occurred or within 2 years from the time the incident is
  154  discovered, or should have been discovered with the exercise of
  155  due diligence; however, in no event shall the action be
  156  commenced later than 4 years from the date of the incident or
  157  occurrence out of which the cause of action accrued, except that
  158  this 4-year period shall not bar an action brought on behalf of
  159  a minor on or before the child’s eighth birthday. An “action for
  160  medical malpractice” is defined as a claim in tort or in
  161  contract for damages because of the death, injury, or monetary
  162  loss to any person arising out of any medical, dental, or
  163  surgical diagnosis, treatment, or care by any provider of health
  164  care. The limitation of actions within this subsection shall be
  165  limited to the health care provider and persons in privity with
  166  the provider of health care. In those actions covered by this
  167  paragraph in which it can be shown that fraud, concealment, or
  168  intentional misrepresentation of fact prevented the discovery of
  169  the injury the period of limitations is extended forward 2 years
  170  from the time that the injury is discovered or should have been
  171  discovered with the exercise of due diligence, but in no event
  172  to exceed 7 years from the date the incident giving rise to the
  173  injury occurred, except that this 7-year period shall not bar an
  174  action brought on behalf of a minor on or before the child’s
  175  eighth birthday. This paragraph shall not apply to actions for
  176  which ss. 766.301-766.316 provide the exclusive remedy.
  177         (d)(c) An action to recover wages or overtime or damages or
  178  penalties concerning payment of wages and overtime.
  179         (e)(d) An action for wrongful death.
  180         (f)(e) An action founded upon a violation of any provision
  181  of chapter 517, with the period running from the time the facts
  182  giving rise to the cause of action were discovered or should
  183  have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence, but not
  184  more than 5 years from the date such violation occurred.
  185         (g)(f) An action for personal injury caused by contact with
  186  or exposure to phenoxy herbicides while serving either as a
  187  civilian or as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States
  188  during the period January 1, 1962, through May 7, 1975; the
  189  period of limitations shall run from the time the cause of
  190  action is discovered or should have been discovered with the
  191  exercise of due diligence.
  192         (h)(g) An action for libel or slander.
  194  DESCRIBED IN S. 782.04 OR S. 782.07.—Notwithstanding paragraph
  195  (4)(e) (4)(d), an action for wrongful death seeking damages
  196  authorized under s. 768.21 brought against a natural person for
  197  an intentional tort resulting in death from acts described in s.
  198  782.04 or s. 782.07 may be commenced at any time. This
  199  subsection shall not be construed to require an arrest, the
  200  filing of formal criminal charges, or a conviction for a
  201  violation of s. 782.04 or s. 782.07 as a condition for filing a
  202  civil action.
  203         Section 3. Section 624.155, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  204  read:
  205         624.155 Civil remedy.—
  206         (1) Any person may bring a civil action against an insurer
  207  when such person is damaged:
  208         (a) By a violation of any of the following provisions by
  209  the insurer:
  210         1. Section 626.9541(1)(i), (o), or (x);
  211         2. Section 626.9551;
  212         3. Section 626.9705;
  213         4. Section 626.9706;
  214         5. Section 626.9707; or
  215         6. Section 627.7283.
  216         (b) By the commission of any of the following acts by the
  217  insurer:
  218         1. Not attempting in good faith to settle claims when,
  219  under all the circumstances, it could and should have done so,
  220  had it acted fairly and honestly toward its insured and with due
  221  regard for her or his interests;
  222         2. Making claims payments to insureds or beneficiaries not
  223  accompanied by a statement setting forth the coverage under
  224  which payments are being made; or
  225         3. Except as to liability coverages, failing to promptly
  226  settle claims, when the obligation to settle a claim has become
  227  reasonably clear, under one portion of the insurance policy
  228  coverage in order to influence settlements under other portions
  229  of the insurance policy coverage.
  231  Notwithstanding the provisions of the above to the contrary, a
  232  person pursuing a remedy under this section need not prove that
  233  such act was committed or performed with such frequency as to
  234  indicate a general business practice.
  235         (2) Any party may bring a civil action against an
  236  unauthorized insurer if such party is damaged by a violation of
  237  s. 624.401 by the unauthorized insurer.
  238         (3)(a) As a condition precedent to bringing an action under
  239  this section, the department and the authorized insurer must
  240  have been given 60 days’ written notice of the violation. Notice
  241  to the authorized insurer must be provided by the department to
  242  the e-mail address designated by the insurer under s. 624.422.
  243         (b) The notice shall be on a form provided by the
  244  department and shall state with specificity the following
  245  information, and such other information as the department may
  246  require:
  247         1. The statutory provision, including the specific language
  248  of the statute, which the authorized insurer allegedly violated.
  249         2. The facts and circumstances giving rise to the
  250  violation.
  251         3. The name of any individual involved in the violation.
  252         4. Reference to specific policy language that is relevant
  253  to the violation, if any. If the person bringing the civil
  254  action is a third party claimant, she or he shall not be
  255  required to reference the specific policy language if the
  256  authorized insurer has not provided a copy of the policy to the
  257  third party claimant pursuant to written request.
  258         5. A statement that the notice is given in order to perfect
  259  the right to pursue the civil remedy authorized by this section.
  260         (c) No action shall lie if, within 60 days after the
  261  insurer receives notice from the department in accordance with
  262  this subsection, the damages are paid or the circumstances
  263  giving rise to the violation are corrected.
  264         (d) The authorized insurer that is the recipient of a
  265  notice filed pursuant to this section shall report to the
  266  department on the disposition of the alleged violation.
  267         (e) The applicable statute of limitations for an action
  268  under this section shall be tolled for a period of:
  269         1. Sixty days after the insurer receives from the
  270  department the notice required by this subsection.
  271         2. Sixty days after the date appraisal is invoked pursuant
  272  to paragraph (f).
  273         (f) A notice required under this subsection may not be
  274  filed within 60 days after appraisal is invoked by any party in
  275  a residential property insurance claim.
  276         (4)An action for bad faith involving a failure to settle a
  277  liability insurance claim, including any such action brought
  278  under the common law, shall not lie if the insurer tenders the
  279  lesser of the policy limits or the amount demanded by the
  280  claimant either:
  281         (a)Before a complaint asserting such claim, accompanied by
  282  sufficient evidence to support the amount of the claim, is
  283  filed; or
  284         (b)Within 90 days after service of such complaint upon the
  285  insurer.
  287  Failure of an insurer to offer payment pursuant to this
  288  subsection shall not constitute bad faith and is inadmissible as
  289  evidence in any action seeking to establish bad faith on the
  290  part of the insurer.
  291         (5)In any bad faith action, whether such action is brought
  292  under this section or is based on the common-law remedy for bad
  293  faith:
  294         (a)Mere negligence alone is insufficient to constitute bad
  295  faith.
  296         (b)1.The insured, claimant, and representative of the
  297  insured or claimant have a duty to act in good faith in
  298  furnishing information regarding the claim, in making demands of
  299  the insurer, in setting deadlines, and in attempting to settle
  300  the claim. This duty does not create a separate cause of action,
  301  but may only be considered pursuant to subparagraph 2.
  302         2.In any action for bad faith against an insurer, the
  303  trier of fact may consider whether the insured, claimant, or
  304  representative of the insured or claimant did not act in good
  305  faith pursuant to this paragraph, in which case the trier of
  306  fact may reasonably reduce the amount of damages awarded against
  307  the insurer.
  308         (6)If two or more third-party claimants have competing
  309  claims arising out of a single occurrence, which in total may
  310  exceed the available policy limits of one or more of the insured
  311  parties who may be liable to the third-party claimants, an
  312  insurer is not liable beyond the available policy limits for
  313  failure to pay all or any portion of the available policy limits
  314  to one or more of the third-party claimants if, within 90 days
  315  after receiving notice of the competing claims in excess of the
  316  available policy limits, the insurer complies with either
  317  paragraph (a) or paragraph (b).
  318         (a)The insurer files an interpleader action under the
  319  Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. If the claims of the competing
  320  third-party claimants are found to be in excess of the policy
  321  limits, the third-party claimants are entitled to a prorated
  322  share of the policy limits as determined by the trier of fact.
  323  An insurer’s interpleader action does not alter or amend the
  324  insurer’s obligation to defend its insured.
  325         (b)Pursuant to binding arbitration that has been agreed to
  326  by the insurer and the third-party claimants, the insurer makes
  327  the entire amount of the policy limits available for payment to
  328  the competing third-party claimants before a qualified
  329  arbitrator selected by the insurer at the expense of the
  330  insurer. The third-party claimants are entitled to a prorated
  331  share of the policy limits as determined by the arbitrator, who
  332  must consider the comparative fault, if any, of each third-party
  333  claimant, and the total likely outcome at trial based upon the
  334  total of the economic and noneconomic damages submitted to the
  335  arbitrator for consideration. A third-party claimant whose claim
  336  is resolved by the arbitrator must execute and deliver a general
  337  release to the insured party whose claim is resolved by the
  338  proceeding.
  339         (7)(4) Upon adverse adjudication at trial or upon appeal,
  340  the authorized insurer shall be liable for damages, together
  341  with court costs and reasonable attorney attorney’s fees
  342  incurred by the plaintiff.
  343         (8)(5)No Punitive damages may not shall be awarded under
  344  this section unless the acts giving rise to the violation occur
  345  with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice
  346  and these acts are:
  347         (a) Willful, wanton, and malicious;
  348         (b) In reckless disregard for the rights of any insured; or
  349         (c) In reckless disregard for the rights of a beneficiary
  350  under a life insurance contract.
  352  Any person who pursues a claim under this subsection shall post
  353  in advance the costs of discovery. Such costs shall be awarded
  354  to the authorized insurer if no punitive damages are awarded to
  355  the plaintiff.
  356         (9)(6) This section does shall not be construed to
  357  authorize a class action suit against an authorized insurer or a
  358  civil action against the commission, the office, or the
  359  department or any of their employees, or to create a cause of
  360  action when an authorized health insurer refuses to pay a claim
  361  for reimbursement on the ground that the charge for a service
  362  was unreasonably high or that the service provided was not
  363  medically necessary.
  364         (10)(7) In the absence of expressed language to the
  365  contrary, this section shall not be construed to authorize a
  366  civil action or create a cause of action against an authorized
  367  insurer or its employees who, in good faith, release information
  368  about an insured or an insurance policy to a law enforcement
  369  agency in furtherance of an investigation of a criminal or
  370  fraudulent act relating to a motor vehicle theft or a motor
  371  vehicle insurance claim.
  372         (11)(8) The civil remedy specified in this section does not
  373  preempt any other remedy or cause of action provided for
  374  pursuant to any other statute or pursuant to the common law of
  375  this state. Any person may obtain a judgment under either the
  376  common-law remedy of bad faith or this statutory remedy, but is
  377  shall not be entitled to a judgment under both remedies. This
  378  section does shall not be construed to create a common-law cause
  379  of action. The damages recoverable pursuant to this section
  380  shall include those damages which are a reasonably foreseeable
  381  result of a specified violation of this section by the
  382  authorized insurer and may include an award or judgment in an
  383  amount that exceeds the policy limits.
  384         (12)(9) A surety issuing a payment or performance bond on
  385  the construction or maintenance of a building or roadway project
  386  is not an insurer for purposes of subsection (1).
  387         Section 4. Section 768.0427, Florida Statutes, is created
  388  to read:
  389         768.0427Admissibility of evidence to prove medical
  390  expenses in personal injury or wrongful death actions;
  391  disclosure of letters of protection; recovery of past and future
  392  medical expenses damages.—
  393         (1)DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
  394         (a)“Factoring company” means a person who purchases a
  395  health care provider’s accounts receivable at a discount below
  396  the invoice value of such accounts.
  397         (b)“Health care coverage” means any third-party health
  398  care or disability services financing arrangement, including,
  399  but not limited to, arrangements with entities certified or
  400  authorized under federal law or under the Florida Insurance
  401  Code; state or federal health care benefit programs; workers’
  402  compensation; and personal injury protection.
  403         (c)“Health care provider” means any of the following
  404  professionals and entities, and professionals and entities
  405  similarly licensed in another jurisdiction:
  406         1.A provider as defined in s. 408.803.
  407         2.A clinical laboratory providing services in this state
  408  or services to health care providers in this state, if the
  409  clinical laboratory is certified by the Centers for Medicare and
  410  Medicaid Services under the federal Clinical Laboratory
  411  Improvement Amendments and the federal rules adopted thereunder.
  412         3.A federally qualified health center as defined in 42
  413  U.S.C. s. 1396d(l)(2)(B), as that definition existed on the
  414  effective date of this act.
  415         4.A health care practitioner as defined in s. 456.001.
  416         5.A health care professional licensed under part IV of
  417  chapter 468.
  418         6.A home health aide as defined in s. 400.462.
  419         7.A provider licensed under chapter 394 or chapter 397 and
  420  its clinical and nonclinical staff providing inpatient or
  421  outpatient services.
  422         8.A continuing care facility licensed under chapter 651.
  423         9.A pharmacy permitted under chapter 465.
  424         (d)“Letter of Protection” means any arrangement by which a
  425  health care provider renders treatment in exchange for a promise
  426  of payment for the claimant’s medical expenses from any judgment
  427  or settlement of a personal injury or wrongful death action. The
  428  term includes any such arrangement, regardless of whether
  429  referred to as a letter of protection.
  431  EXPENSES.—Evidence offered to prove the amount of damages for
  432  past or future medical treatment or services in a personal
  433  injury or wrongful death action is admissible only as provided
  434  in this subsection.
  435         (a)Evidence offered to prove the amount of damages for
  436  past medical treatment or services that have been satisfied is
  437  limited to evidence of the amount actually paid, regardless of
  438  the source of payment.
  439         (b)Evidence offered to prove the amount necessary to
  440  satisfy unpaid charges for incurred medical treatment or
  441  services is limited to evidence as provided in this paragraph.
  442         1.If the claimant has health care coverage, evidence of
  443  the amount which such health care coverage is obligated to pay
  444  the health care provider to satisfy the charges for the
  445  claimant’s incurred medical treatment or services, plus the
  446  claimant’s share of medical expenses under the insurance
  447  contract or regulation.
  448         2.If the claimant has health care coverage but obtains
  449  treatment under a letter of protection or otherwise does not
  450  submit charges for any health care provider’s medical treatment
  451  or services to health care coverage, evidence of the amount the
  452  claimant’s health care coverage would pay the health care
  453  provider to satisfy the past unpaid medical charges under the
  454  insurance contract or regulation, plus the claimant’s share of
  455  medical expenses under the insurance contract or regulation, had
  456  the claimant obtained medical services or treatment pursuant to
  457  the health care coverage.
  458         3.If the claimant does not have health care coverage,
  459  evidence of 120 percent of the Medicare reimbursement rate in
  460  effect at the time of trial for the claimant’s incurred medical
  461  treatment or services, or, if there is no applicable Medicare
  462  rate for a service, 170 percent of the applicable state Medicaid
  463  rate.
  464         4.If the claimant obtains medical treatment or services
  465  under a letter of protection and the health care provider
  466  subsequently transfers the right to receive payment under the
  467  letter of protection to a third party, evidence of the amount
  468  the third party paid or agreed to pay the health care provider
  469  in exchange for the right to receive payment pursuant to the
  470  letter of protection.
  471         5.Any evidence disclosed under subsection (3) related to a
  472  letter of protection.
  473         (c)Evidence offered to prove the amount of damages for any
  474  future medical treatment or services the claimant will receive
  475  is limited to evidence as provided in this paragraph.
  476         1.If the claimant has health care coverage or is eligible
  477  for any health care coverage, evidence of the amount for which
  478  the future charges of health care providers could be satisfied
  479  if submitted to such health care coverage, plus the claimant’s
  480  share of medical expenses under the insurance contract or
  481  regulation.
  482         2.If the claimant does not have health care coverage,
  483  evidence of 120 percent of the Medicare reimbursement rate in
  484  effect at the time of trial for the medical treatment or
  485  services the claimant will receive, or, if there is no
  486  applicable Medicare rate for a service, 170 percent of the
  487  applicable state Medicaid rate.
  488         (d)This subsection does not impose an affirmative duty
  489  upon any party to seek a reduction in billed charges to which
  490  the party is not contractually entitled.
  491         (e)Individual contracts between providers and authorized
  492  commercial insurers or authorized health maintenance
  493  organizations are not subject to discovery or disclosure and are
  494  not admissible into evidence.
  496  personal injury or wrongful death action, as a condition
  497  precedent to asserting any claim for medical expenses for
  498  treatment rendered under a letter of protection, the claimant
  499  must disclose:
  500         (a)A copy of the letter of protection.
  501         (b)All billings for the claimant’s medical expenses, which
  502  must be itemized and, to the extent applicable, coded according
  503  to the American Medical Association’s Current Procedural
  504  Terminology (CPT), or the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding
  505  System (HCPCS), in effect for the year in which services are
  506  rendered.
  507         (c)If the health care provider sells the accounts
  508  receivable for the claimant’s medical expenses to a factoring
  509  company or other third party:
  510         1.The name of the factoring company or other third party
  511  who purchased such accounts.
  512         2.The dollar amount for which the factoring company or
  513  other third party purchased such accounts, including any
  514  discount provided below the invoice amount.
  515         (d)Whether the claimant, at the time medical treatment was
  516  rendered, had health care coverage and, if so, the identity of
  517  such coverage.
  518         (e)Whether the claimant was referred for treatment under a
  519  letter of protection and, if so, the identity of the person who
  520  made the referral. If the referral is made by the claimant’s
  521  attorney, disclosure of the referral is permitted, and evidence
  522  of such referral is admissible notwithstanding any provision
  523  within s. 90.502. Moreover, in such situation, the financial
  524  relationship between a law firm and a medical provider,
  525  including the number of referrals, frequency, and financial
  526  benefit obtained, is relevant to the issue of the bias of a
  527  testifying medical provider.
  529  EXPENSES.—The damages that may be recovered by a claimant in a
  530  personal injury or wrongful death action for the reasonable and
  531  necessary cost or value of medical care rendered may not include
  532  any amount in excess of the evidence of medical treatment and
  533  services expenses admitted pursuant to subsection (2), and also
  534  may not exceed the sum of the following:
  535         (a)Amounts actually paid by or on behalf of the claimant
  536  to a health care provider who rendered medical treatment or
  537  services;
  538         (b)Amounts necessary to satisfy charges for medical
  539  treatment or services that are due and owing but at the time of
  540  trial are not yet satisfied; and
  541         (c)Amounts necessary to provide for any reasonable and
  542  necessary medical treatment or services the claimant will
  543  receive in the future.
  544         Section 5. Section 768.0701, Florida Statutes, is created
  545  to read:
  546         768.0701Premises liability for criminal acts of third
  547  parties.—Notwithstanding s. 768.81(4), in an action for damages
  548  against the owner, lessor, operator, or manager of commercial or
  549  real property brought by a person lawfully on the property who
  550  was injured by the criminal act of a third party, the trier of
  551  fact must consider the fault of all persons who contributed to
  552  the injury.
  553         Section 6. Subsection (1) of section 768.79, Florida
  554  Statutes, is amended to read:
  555         768.79 Offer of judgment and demand for judgment.—
  556         (1) In any civil action for damages and in any civil action
  557  involving an insurance contract filed in the courts of this
  558  state, if a defendant files an offer of judgment which is not
  559  accepted by the plaintiff within 30 days, the defendant shall be
  560  entitled to recover reasonable costs and attorney’s fees
  561  incurred by her or him or on the defendant’s behalf pursuant to
  562  a policy of liability insurance or other contract from the date
  563  of filing of the offer if the judgment is one of no liability or
  564  the judgment obtained by the plaintiff is at least 25 percent
  565  less than such offer, and the court shall set off such costs and
  566  attorney’s fees against the award. Where such costs and
  567  attorney’s fees total more than the judgment, the court shall
  568  enter judgment for the defendant against the plaintiff for the
  569  amount of the costs and fees, less the amount of the plaintiff’s
  570  award. If a plaintiff files a demand for judgment which is not
  571  accepted by the defendant within 30 days and the plaintiff
  572  recovers a judgment in an amount at least 25 percent greater
  573  than the offer, she or he shall be entitled to recover
  574  reasonable costs and attorney’s fees incurred from the date of
  575  the filing of the demand. If rejected, neither an offer nor
  576  demand is admissible in subsequent litigation, except for
  577  pursuing the penalties of this section.
  578         Section 7. Subsection (2) of section 768.81, Florida
  579  Statutes, is amended, and subsection (6) is added to that
  580  section, to read:
  581         768.81 Comparative fault.—
  582         (2) EFFECT OF CONTRIBUTORY FAULT.—In a negligence action,
  583  contributory fault chargeable to the claimant diminishes
  584  proportionately the amount awarded as economic and noneconomic
  585  damages for an injury attributable to the claimant’s
  586  contributory fault, but does not bar recovery, subject to
  587  subsection (6).
  588         (6)GREATER PERCENTAGE OF FAULT.—In a negligence action to
  589  which this section applies, any party found to be greater than
  590  50 percent at fault for his or her own harm may not recover any
  591  damages. This subsection does not apply to an action for damages
  592  for personal injury or wrongful death arising out of medical
  593  negligence pursuant to chapter 766.
  594         Section 8. Section 626.9373, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  595         Section 9. Section 627.428, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  596         Section 10. Subsection (4) of section 624.123, Florida
  597  Statutes, is amended to read:
  598         624.123 Certain international health insurance policies;
  599  exemption from code.—
  600         (4) Any international health insurance policy or
  601  application solicited, provided, entered into, issued, or
  602  delivered pursuant to this subsection is exempt from all
  603  provisions of the insurance code, except that such policy,
  604  contract, or agreement is subject to the provisions of ss.
  605  624.155, 624.316, 624.3161, 626.951, 626.9511, 626.9521,
  606  626.9541, 626.9551, 626.9561, 626.9571, 626.9581, 626.9591,
  607  626.9601, 627.413, 627.4145, 627.428, and 627.6043.
  608         Section 11. Subsection (4) of section 624.488, Florida
  609  Statutes, is amended to read:
  610         624.488 Applicability of related laws.—In addition to other
  611  provisions of the code cited in ss. 624.460-624.488:
  612         (4) Sections 627.291, 627.413, 627.4132, 627.416, 627.418,
  613  627.420, 627.421, 627.425, 627.426, 627.4265, 627.427, 627.428,
  614  627.702, and 627.706; part XI of chapter 627; ss. 627.912,
  615  627.913, and 627.918;
  617  apply to self-insurance funds. Only those sections of the code
  618  that are expressly and specifically cited in ss. 624.460-624.489
  619  apply to self-insurance funds.
  620         Section 12. Paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of section
  621  627.062, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  622         627.062 Rate standards.—
  623         (3)
  624         (b) Individual risk rates and modifications to existing
  625  approved forms are not subject to this part or part II, except
  626  for paragraph (a) and ss. 627.402, 627.403, 627.4035, 627.404,
  627  627.405, 627.406, 627.407, 627.4085, 627.409, 627.4132,
  628  627.4133, 627.415, 627.416, 627.417, 627.419, 627.425, 627.426,
  629  627.4265, and 627.427, and 627.428, but are subject to all other
  630  applicable provisions of this code and rules adopted thereunder.
  631         Section 13. Section 627.401, Florida Statutes, is amended
  632  to read:
  633         627.401 Scope of this part.—No provision of this part of
  634  this chapter applies to:
  635         (1) Reinsurance.
  636         (2) Policies or contracts not issued for delivery in this
  637  state nor delivered in this state, except as otherwise provided
  638  in this code.
  639         (3) Wet marine and transportation insurance, except ss.
  640  627.409 and, 627.420, and 627.428.
  641         (4) Title insurance, except ss. 627.406, 627.415, 627.416,
  642  627.419, and 627.427, and 627.428.
  643         (5) Credit life or credit disability insurance, except s.
  644  627.419(5) ss. 627.419(5) and 627.428.
  645         Section 14. Subsection (8) of section 627.727, Florida
  646  Statutes, is amended to read:
  647         627.727 Motor vehicle insurance; uninsured and underinsured
  648  vehicle coverage; insolvent insurer protection.—
  649         (8) The provisions of s. 627.428 do not apply to any action
  650  brought pursuant to this section against the uninsured motorist
  651  insurer unless there is a dispute over whether the policy
  652  provides coverage for an uninsured motorist proven to be liable
  653  for the accident.
  654         Section 15. Subsection (8) of section 627.736, Florida
  655  Statutes, is amended to read:
  656         627.736 Required personal injury protection benefits;
  657  exclusions; priority; claims.—
  659  With respect to any dispute under the provisions of ss. 627.730
  660  627.7405 between the insured and the insurer, or between an
  661  assignee of an insured’s rights and the insurer, the provisions
  662  of s. 768.79 ss. 627.428 and 768.79 apply, except as provided in
  663  subsections (10) and (15), and except that any attorney fees
  664  recovered must:
  665         (a) Comply with prevailing professional standards;
  666         (b) Not overstate or inflate the number of hours reasonably
  667  necessary for a case of comparable skill or complexity; and
  668         (c) Represent legal services that are reasonable and
  669  necessary to achieve the result obtained.
  671  Upon request by either party, a judge must make written
  672  findings, substantiated by evidence presented at trial or any
  673  hearings associated therewith, that any award of attorney fees
  674  complies with this subsection. Notwithstanding s. 627.428,
  675  Attorney fees recovered under ss. 627.730-627.7405 must be
  676  calculated without regard to a contingency risk multiplier.
  677         Section 16. Section 627.756, Florida Statutes, is amended
  678  to read:
  679         627.756 Bonds for construction contracts; attorney fees in
  680  case of suit.—
  681         (1) Section 627.428 applies to suits brought by owners,
  682  contractors, subcontractors, laborers, and materialmen against a
  683  surety insurer under payment or performance bonds written by the
  684  insurer under the laws of this state to indemnify against
  685  pecuniary loss by breach of a building or construction contract.
  686  Owners, contractors, subcontractors, laborers, and materialmen
  687  shall be deemed to be insureds or beneficiaries for the purposes
  688  of this section.
  689         (2) A surety who issues a bid, performance, or payment bond
  690  in connection with construction activities where hazardous
  691  substances exist or are discovered is liable under ss. 376.308
  692  and 403.727 only to the extent provided in this section
  693  subsection. In case of a default, the surety is liable only for
  694  the cost of completion of the contract work in accordance with
  695  the plans and specifications, less the balance of funds
  696  remaining to be paid under the contract, up to the penal sum of
  697  the bond. The surety is not liable on a bond to indemnify or
  698  compensate the obligee for loss or liability arising from
  699  personal injury or property damage, whether or not caused by a
  700  breach of the bonded contract. Further, a right of action does
  701  not accrue on a bond to or for the use of any person other than
  702  the obligee named in the bond.
  703         Section 17. Subsection (4) of section 628.6016, Florida
  704  Statutes, is amended to read:
  705         628.6016 Applicability of related laws.—In addition to
  706  other provisions of the code cited in ss. 628.6011-628.6018:
  707         (4) Sections 627.291, 627.413, 627.4132, 627.416, 627.418,
  708  627.420, 627.421, 627.425, 627.426, 627.4265, 627.427, 627.428,
  709  627.702, and 627.706; part XI of chapter 627; ss. 627.912,
  710  627.913, and 627.918; and
  712  apply to assessable mutual insurers; however, ss. 628.255,
  713  628.411, and 628.421 do not apply. No section of the code not
  714  expressly and specifically cited in ss. 628.6011-628.6018
  715  applies to assessable mutual insurers. The term “assessable
  716  mutual insurer” shall be substituted for the term “commercial
  717  self-insurer” as appropriate.
  718         Section 18. Section 631.70, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  719         Section 19. Section 631.926, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  720         Section 20. Paragraphs (a) and (j) of subsection (1) of
  721  section 475.01, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  722         475.01 Definitions.—
  723         (1) As used in this part:
  724         (a) “Broker” means a person who, for another, and for a
  725  compensation or valuable consideration directly or indirectly
  726  paid or promised, expressly or impliedly, or with an intent to
  727  collect or receive a compensation or valuable consideration
  728  therefor, appraises, auctions, sells, exchanges, buys, rents, or
  729  offers, attempts or agrees to appraise, auction, or negotiate
  730  the sale, exchange, purchase, or rental of business enterprises
  731  or business opportunities or any real property or any interest
  732  in or concerning the same, including mineral rights or leases,
  733  or who advertises or holds out to the public by any oral or
  734  printed solicitation or representation that she or he is engaged
  735  in the business of appraising, auctioning, buying, selling,
  736  exchanging, leasing, or renting business enterprises or business
  737  opportunities or real property of others or interests therein,
  738  including mineral rights, or who takes any part in the procuring
  739  of sellers, purchasers, lessors, or lessees of business
  740  enterprises or business opportunities or the real property of
  741  another, or leases, or interest therein, including mineral
  742  rights, or who directs or assists in the procuring of prospects
  743  or in the negotiation or closing of any transaction which does,
  744  or is calculated to, result in a sale, exchange, or leasing
  745  thereof, and who receives, expects, or is promised any
  746  compensation or valuable consideration, directly or indirectly
  747  therefor; and all persons who advertise rental property
  748  information or lists. A broker renders a professional service
  749  and is a professional within the meaning of s. 95.11(4)(b) s.
  750  95.11(4)(a). Where the term “appraise” or “appraising” appears
  751  in the definition of the term “broker,” it specifically excludes
  752  those appraisal services which must be performed only by a
  753  state-licensed or state-certified appraiser, and those appraisal
  754  services which may be performed by a registered trainee
  755  appraiser as defined in part II. The term “broker” also includes
  756  any person who is a general partner, officer, or director of a
  757  partnership or corporation which acts as a broker. The term
  758  “broker” also includes any person or entity who undertakes to
  759  list or sell one or more timeshare periods per year in one or
  760  more timeshare plans on behalf of any number of persons, except
  761  as provided in ss. 475.011 and 721.20.
  762         (j) “Sales associate” means a person who performs any act
  763  specified in the definition of “broker,” but who performs such
  764  act under the direction, control, or management of another
  765  person. A sales associate renders a professional service and is
  766  a professional within the meaning of s. 95.11(4)(b) s.
  767  95.11(4)(a).
  768         Section 21. Paragraph (h) of subsection (1) of section
  769  475.611, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  770         475.611 Definitions.—
  771         (1) As used in this part, the term:
  772         (h) “Appraiser” means any person who is a registered
  773  trainee real estate appraiser, a licensed real estate appraiser,
  774  or a certified real estate appraiser. An appraiser renders a
  775  professional service and is a professional within the meaning of
  776  s. 95.11(4)(b) s. 95.11(4)(a).
  777         Section 22. Subsection (7) of section 517.191, Florida
  778  Statutes, is amended to read:
  779         517.191 Injunction to restrain violations; civil penalties;
  780  enforcement by Attorney General.—
  781         (7) Notwithstanding s. 95.11(4)(f) s. 95.11(4)(e), an
  782  enforcement action brought under this section based on a
  783  violation of any provision of this chapter or any rule or order
  784  issued under this chapter shall be brought within 6 years after
  785  the facts giving rise to the cause of action were discovered or
  786  should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence,
  787  but not more than 8 years after the date such violation
  788  occurred.
  789         Section 23. Subsection (2) of section 627.441, Florida
  790  Statutes, is amended to read:
  791         627.441 Commercial general liability policies; coverage to
  792  contractors for completed operations.—
  793         (2) A liability insurer must offer coverage at an
  794  appropriate additional premium for liability arising out of
  795  current or completed operations under an owner-controlled
  796  insurance program for any period beyond the period for which the
  797  program provides liability coverage, as specified in s.
  798  255.0517(2)(b). The period of such coverage must be sufficient
  799  to protect against liability arising out of an action brought
  800  within the time limits provided in s. 95.11(3)(b) s.
  801  95.11(3)(c).
  802         Section 24. Subsection (11) of section 632.638, Florida
  803  Statutes, is amended to read:
  804         632.638 Applicability of other code provisions.—In addition
  805  to other provisions contained or referred to in this chapter,
  806  the following chapters and provisions of this code apply to
  807  fraternal benefit societies, to the extent applicable and not in
  808  conflict with the express provisions of this chapter and the
  809  reasonable implications thereof:
  810         (11) Section 627.428;
  811         Section 25. The Division of Law Revision is directed to
  812  replace the phrase “the effective date of this act” wherever it
  813  occurs in this act with the date this act becomes a law.
  814         Section 26. Section 2 of this act shall take effect upon
  815  becoming a law and shall apply to causes of action accruing on
  816  or after the effective date of this act. The remaining sections
  817  of this act shall take effect upon becoming a law and shall
  818  apply to causes of action filed on or after that date.