Florida's legal system continues to be ranked at the bottom of the nation, all at a high cost to consumers, small business and our economy. According to the March 8th Harris Report for the US Chamber of Commerce"s Institute for Legal Reform, Florida's legal system ranks 42nd in the nation and South Florida has been -- once again -- named the number one Judicial Hellhole in the country in the annual report by the American Tort Reform Association. Judicial hellhole refers to states where judges systematically apply laws and court procedures in an inequitable manner. For example,
* Florida is one of the few states that allow drunk drivers to sue the automobile manufacturer for failing to prevent their injuries by designing a safer car, while hiding from the jury the driver's responsibility for the crash.
* Medical-malpractice insurance rates in South Florida are among the highest in the nation. It is prohibitively expensive to practice in high-risk specialties, such as obstetrics and neurosurgery.
* Florida is home to the website WhoCanISue.com
The effect of unfair justice being applied in Florida courts is unacceptable. In order to turn Florida's economy around and make Florida the number one state for job creation, we must restore fairness, personal responsibility and predictability to Florida's civil justice system. As part of my economic plan, we will implement meaningful tort reform in order to reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits filed in Florida. By implementing tort reform, individuals with legitimate claims will maintain access to the courts and the small businesses, which are the lifeblood of our economy, will be protected from frivolous litigation.