Florida’s New Civil Remedies Act – Bulletpoints As to How It Impacts Construction

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This article has key bulletpoints on the impact this new Act has on the construction industry.

April 10, 2023
David Adelstein - Florida Construction Legal Updates

There has been much talk about Florida’s new Civil Remedies Act (House Bill 837) that Governor DeSantis approved on March 24, 2023. As it pertains to construction, here is how I see it with key bulletpoints on the impact this new Act has on the construction industry:

  • New Florida Statute s. 86.121 – This is an attorney’s fees statute for declaratory relief actions to the prevailing insured to determine insurance coverage after TOTAL COVERAGE DENIAL. (Note: A defense offered pursuant to a reservation of rights is not a total coverage denial.) This right only belongs to the insured and cannot be transferred or assigned. And the parties are entitled to the summary procedure set forth in Florida Statute s. 51.011 requiring the court to advance the cause on the calendar. The new statute does say it does NOT apply to any action arising under a residential or commercial property insurance policy. (Thus, since builder’s risk coverage is a form of property insurance, the strong presumption is this new statute would not apply to it.) Rather, the recent changes to Florida Statute s. 626.9373 would apply which provides, “In any suit arising under a residential or commercial property insurance policy, there is no right to attorney fees under this section.”
  • Florida Statute s. 95.11 – The statute of limitations for negligence causes of action are two years instead of four years. This applies to “causes of action accruing after the effective date of this act.”

Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at dma@kirwinnorris.com


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