Retired Florida Circuit Judge Greg Holder of Zinober, Diana & Monteverde, P.A. was invited by Senator Jeff Brandes to Tallahassee Monday, February 1, 2021, to present testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee concerning the abusive P&C litigation practices and fraud he witnessed in his 26 years as a Circuit Court Judge in Hillsborough County. More specifically, Greg fully supported changes to the following Florida statutes:
§768.79 Offer of Judgment and Demand for Judgment…Amend to allow insurers to submit offers to the “insured property” as opposed to the individual insureds. Also, to allow insurers to make an offer for only the indemnity amount of a claimed loss excluding attorney fees. This change would allow the attorney fees to be negotiated separately and allow prompt payment to the insured. For those who are not already aware, litigants are currently allowed to file offers under this Statute as early as the 91st day of litigation.
§627.428 Attorney Fees…Amend to require that a fee multiplier is awarded only under rare and exceptional circumstances, including evidence that competent counsel could not reasonably be retained by the insured without a multiplier.
§627.7152 Assignment of Benefits…Require Direction to Pay Agreements and similar hybrid AOB contracts to comply with current AOB statutory requirements and require insurers to issue insurance payments based upon verified work completed to protect the insured and the property.
These proposals align with Bills currently proposed by Senator Jeff Brandes and Senator Jim Boyd, as well as legislative proposals by Tasha Carter, the Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate. Greg provided a pointed analysis of the abusive litigation tactics he has witnessed in his years of service, as well as his actual experiences presiding over litigation, most of which demand required changes to Florida laws to bring true fairness and justice to Florida’s P&C markets and all Floridians.
If you have questions or want more information, please contact your local Senator and Representative.