Florida Legislation To Watch In 2021
Senior Policy Advisor Beth Vecchioli spoke with Law360 about Florida's legislative outlook moving into 2021. COVID-19 will have significant impact on the state's legislative direction for 2021, thrusting public health needs and economic concerns to the forefront and shaping how lawmakers will perform their duties. The Legislature is expected to consider providing tort protections, or liability immunity, for essential businesses to shield them from injury claims from people who catch COVID-19 while visiting their premises.
"Unless there's gross negligence — which of course everyone should have the right to sue for gross negligence — they're asking for some sort of immunity protection from these lawsuits, because, depending upon how big the business is, a number of these lawsuits could cripple and potentially bankrupt businesses," Ms. Vecchioli said. Another litigation-centered issue that has received a lot of attention is whether COVID-19 coverage is due under business interruption insurance policies, but Ms. Vecchioli said she thinks a federal solution is needed. "This is a problem for the whole country," she said. "Based on the number of claims and the dollar amount of claims that potentially could get filed on these type of policies, it would bankrupt the entire insurance industry."