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Bill Summary Details

Sovereign Immunity (Oppose)

CS/SB 1302 (Flores) designates the "Florida Fair Claims Act" and waives the sovereign immunity of the state and its agencies and subdivisions (includes cities) for tort claims for damages resulting from the actions of government employees acting in the scope of employment, if those actions are in bad faith, with a malicious purpose, or in a manner exhibiting a disregard for human rights, safety or property. As amended in committee, the bill also increases the per-occurrence limit on the collectability of judgments against government entities from $300,000 to $500,00 and eliminates the $200,000-per-claimant limit. These new limits will apply to lawsuits that have not been adjudicated before the effective date of the bill. Thus, making the new higher monetary limits retroactive. The bill further allows government entities to settle claims in any amount without the approval of a claim bill by the Legislature. In contrast, current law allows government entities to settle and pay amounts exceeding the sovereign immunity caps only to the extent of insurance coverage. Otherwise, current law requires that the payment of the portion of a claim or judgment exceeding the sovereign immunity caps be approved by the Legislature in a claim bill. (Cruz)