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Republican legislators in Florida have allotted $125,000 for the study of what it would mean for the Sunshine State to get rid of he system of no-fault car insurance (PIP – personal injury protection) that has been in place for more than 40 years. drive9

Lawmakers reportedly had hoped that legal changes four years ago would lower payments for consumers. However, Florida’s top insurers show that since the beginning of last year, auto insurance premiums are up 40 percent.

Now, records from the state’s Department of Financial Services show officials picked an outside research firm to investigate the effect that nixing no-fault will have. A draft of the report is due at the end of August, with the final report due soon after.  Continue reading

Sovereign immunity is a legal principal that holds the government can’t be held liable in tort cases the same way individuals can unless a waiver is granted. F.S. 768.28 covers sovereign immunity waivers, and essentially allows the state and its agencies and subdivisions to be liable for tort claims the same way and to the same extent as private individuals under the same circumstances. highway

There are, however a number of caveats to this. For example, the state can’t be responsible to pay punitive damages or pre-judgment interest. Also, if any one claim exceeds $200,000 per person or $300,000 per occurrence, that amount has to be approved by the state legislature.

Still, it’s not uncommon for government agencies to assert protection by way of sovereign immunity in various tort actions, and sometimes they are successful. But what a recent case before the Texas Supreme Court held was that even if a government agency has sovereign immunity protection, government contractors can’t expect the same just because they were doing government work.

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