Home Articles South Florida’s Medical Malpractice Laws May Be Due For An Overhaul

South Florida’s Medical Malpractice Laws May Be Due For An Overhaul

medical malpractice

South Florida has levels of freedom rarely experienced across the world, but some citizens allege medical malpractice laws are arcane. In October 2019, the Herald-Tribune reported on the case of Sarasota citizen Gerald Giannillo, whose family were unable to use the courts to explore his premature death due to a little-known statue preventing unmarried over-25s from lodging legal action.

Just one rule in a litany of other small but impactful statutes, Florida residents are calling for it, and others, to be reconsidered by state lawmakers.

The state of affairs

Currently, South Floridian medical malpractice can be litigated at any level and has a standard 2-year statute of limitations, which is, according to legal experts JJS Justice, a standard procedure for many states.

Faith Based Events

Increasingly, the 2-year statue is being adopted, with mandatory extensions in place where litigation is undertaken. According to the Florida Bar, this has occasionally been controversial as the 2-year limitation is said to prevent litigation, especially from those without significant resources.

Where confusion comes in

Florida medical malpractice law is rife with confusion and contradictions. In June, the Sun-Sentinel reported a judge had overturned a $15.5m verdict which had previously been reported as concrete.  In February, Naples resident Kevin Speck’s family were unable to pursue a lawsuit as a result of the 25 and unmarried law that Gerald Gianillo became the subject of. Essentially, the law in Florida is confusing.

Is change coming?

In Florida itself, there are few indications that change will be ongoing. However, events in states further afield are laying down the foundations for future action. Of most interest is the recent $229m verdict in Baltimore against John Hopkins institutes. The tilt of this verdict towards the patient, and the open view that judges took in making the decision has been touted by legal experts as potentially indicative of legislative change around the country.

Medical malpractice can be extremely emotionally trying and financially difficult experience to go through. Florida’s laws do not make it easier to traverse the process. Developments around the country may show the way to making the law easier and more rational, and improve the lives of those affected in the process.