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Health News Florida
Get the latest coverage of the 2021 Florida legislative session in Tallahassee from our coverage partners and WUSF.

Florida House, Senate Committees To Consider Health Liability Bills

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The bills are aimed at protecting nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other health care providers from litigation about deaths or injuries from COVID-19.

Though some of the details differ, the House and Senate next week will continue moving forward with proposals that would help shield health-care providers from lawsuits related to COVID-19.

The House Pandemics & Public Emergencies Committee on Tuesday will take up the House’s health-care liability bill (HB 7005), sponsored by Rep. Colleen Burton, R-Lakeland.

A day later, the Senate Health Policy Committee will take up the Senate version (SB 74), sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg.

The bills are aimed at protecting nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other health care providers from litigation about deaths or injuries from COVID-19.

The Senate bill would require plaintiffs to prove by an overwhelming amount of evidence that health care providers were grossly negligent or engaged in intentional misconduct.

The Senate bill also would allow defendants to block lawsuits if supplies or personnel were not readily available to comply with COVID-19 standards.

The House bill would require plaintiffs to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that health care providers were grossly negligent or engaged in intentional misconduct.

Under the House’s proposal, plaintiffs couldn’t file COVID-19 lawsuits against providers without first getting affidavits from state-licensed physicians attesting that the claims were the result of the defendants’ actions.

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