Donald Trump Jabs Ron DeSantis over Florida’s Tort Reform

PALM BEACH, FL-NOVEMBER 8: Former President Donald Trump answers questions from reporters during an election night party at Mar-a-Lago, Tuesday, November 8, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. (Phelan M. Ebenhack for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Phelan M. Ebenhack for The Washington Post via Getty Images, Octavio Jones/Getty

Former President Donald J. Trump criticized Florida’s tort reform, signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) last week, as “a total sell-out” that benefits big insurance companies and hurts Floridians.

In a video released hours before the news that Trump was indicted on Thursday, he zoned in on DeSantis over Florida House Bill 837:

Enacted on March 24, it implements a number of reforms to Florida’s civil legal system, which DeSantis said were much needed.

Per the Florida House, the legislation:

Creates rebuttable presumption that lodestar fee is sufficient & reasonable attorney fee in most civil actions; reduces statute of limitations for negligence actions; provides standards for bad faith actions; provides for distribution of proceeds when two or more third-party claims arising out of single occurrence exceed policy limits; limits applicability of provisions relating to attorney fees in certain actions against insurers; provides standards for evidence to prove damages for medical expenses in certain civil actions; requires certain disclosures with respect to claims for medical expenses for treatment rendered under letters of protection; requires trier of fact to consider fault of certain persons who contribute to an injury; provides that owner or principal operator of multifamily residential property which substantially implements specified security measures on that property has presumption against liability in connection with certain criminal acts that occur on premises; revises provisions relating to immunity from liability for injury to trespassers on real property; specifies applicability of provisions relating to offer of judgment & demand for judgment.

“Florida has been considered a judicial hellhole for far too long and we are desperately in need of legal reform that brings us more in line with the rest of the country,” DeSantis said in a press release regarding the bill. “I am proud to sign this legislation to protect Floridians, safeguard our economy and attract more investment in our state.”

DeSantis’s office noted that the bill aims to “decrease frivolous lawsuits and prevent predatory practices of trial attorneys who prey on hardworking Floridians. ”

Trump is of the view that the bill, which DeSantis proposed ahead of the legislation session, “was a total sell-out” that benefits big insurance companies and hurts Floridians.

“In addition to wanting to cut Social Security and raise the minimum age to at least 70 and Medicare – he wanted to absolutely destroy it – RINO Ron DeSanctimonoius is delivering the biggest insurance company bailout in globalist history,” Trump said, adding: 

This is a gift to insurance companies and a disaster for the people of Florida. He’s also crushed Florida him owners whose houses were destroyed in the hurricane. They have been absolutely decimated. They’re getting pennies on the dollar. His insurance commissioner does absolutely nothing while Florida’s lives are ruined. The hurricane was disaster. The hurricane was actually handed very poorly, and the insurance companies are being made whole. The people of Florida aren’t. This was a total sell-out to the insurance companies. The worst insurance scam in the entire country with the highest rates in the entire country. That’s Florida. So you have to tell it like it is, and I’m just telling it like it is. Should’t be allowed to happen.

Trump is not alone in his criticism of the reforms. Florida Justice Association President Curry Pajcic said it “weakens accountability for insurance companies and multi-billion-dollar corporations by creating roadblocks to the ability of average Floridians to be able to access the courts,” Courthouse News Service reported.

Tensions between the two Republicans have heightened of late as the 2024 presidential race heats up.

RELATED: He Came to Me, “Tears in His Eyes”: Trump Mocks DeSantis for Perceived Disloyalty After Endorsement

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