Florida Homeowners Brace for Impact as New Bill Threatens to Limit Lawsuits

Florida Homeowners Brace for Impact as New Bill Threatens to Limit Lawsuits

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. —A bill on its way to Gov. Ron DeSantis’s desk could make it harder for people to sue over problems with the way their homes were built.

It’s the latest thing Florida has done to deal with what some people call “out-of-control litigation.”

Insurance companies and builders like Senate Bill 360, but many lawyers are worried that the little guy will have to pay for it.

Phillip Wardell, the president of Access Insurance, said, “This is another way to help stop some of these lawsuits. Lawyers are always looking for the big pockets, so they want the insurance to pay.”

He thinks that SB360 will make Florida’s expensive home market more affordable.

Because one part of this law cuts the time you have to file a lawsuit over a flaw in a building from 10 years to 7 years.

Wardell said, “It does put a little more pressure on the county and the government agencies that do inspections to make sure they do a good job.”

Attorney Patrick Howell said, “There will be a lot of unintended consequences and serious harm to condo associations.”

Howell thinks the timing is bad because, under Florida law, condo groups are run by the developer for the first seven years. After that, the owners take over.

“With this new change, which lowers the statute of repose, or the time limit for filing a lawsuit, to 7 years, there’s no time for a condominium association to bring a cause of action or start a claim,” said Howell.

Wardell said that rules like this that make sense will lower everyone’s insurance costs in the long run.

“In general, we have to begin somewhere.” Wardell said, “I think this is a good start.”

According to CBS12 News has been trying for weeks to talk to John Snyder, a state representative from our area who pushed for this bill, about it.

He keeps saying no when we ask him to talk to us, and he did it again for this story.

CBS12 News has also asked the governor’s office if he plans to make this a law, but we haven’t heard back yet.

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Happy Purwal is a news writer with one year of experience. He is skilled in researching and writing engaging news articles. His expertise includes covering current events, politics, and human interest stories. He is passionate about delivering accurate and unbiased news to his readers.