New legislation proposed by mega-corporations Disney and Publix seeks to put limits on the amount injured people are able to recover for their injuries. The new law will require patients to prove, in court, that medical treatments they received as a result of an injury were reasonable and necessary, invading the decision-making process during their treatment and recovery.
“This new legislation would have a chilling effect on those seeking justice for wrongs they have suffered,” commented Rachael Gilmer, an attorney with the Levin Papantonio Law Firm, who practices in the area of personal injury litigation.
Backed by the Florida Chamber of Commerce and a sure fit for the pro-business antics of the infamous Rick Scott, Disney and Publix are pushing to see the legislation passed now while the pro-right have a grip on Florida’s legislature. Should the law be enacted, this would be a major win for the pro-business, anti-consumer wing in Florida and a devastating blow to consumers and workers in the state.
“Regrettably, legislation in the state has been moving away from protecting the injured and further into protecting corporate interest,” added Troy Rafferty, an attorney with the Levin, Papantonio Law Firm, who practices in the areas of product liability and personal injury litigation. “Florida’s No-fault, personal injury protection law, requires victims in automotive accidents to prove their subsequent care was reasonable and necessary; this law would simply make them prove it twice,” he added.
If Disney and Publix get their way, decisions originally made between a patient and a doctor will now have a new party at the table to consider when making decisions about their care: the corporation responsible for the injury. How do the doctors avoid having Mickey Mouse tell them how much they can charge? They refuse to treat patients injured in an accident. Limiting access to medical care, forcing the few doctors who are willing to treat injured people to charge minimal amounts to guarantee they do get payment will put more money in the pockets of big business while hurting those who have already been injured and the doctors who are trying to help them.
Joshua is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.