If you have dealt with or studied Florida’s medical malpractice system, you know it’s not great. It’s a system that was designed to put the needs of insurance companies over consumers and to weaken the influence and bottom-line of traditional Democratic Party contributors in the political process. This pet issue of Jeb Bush’s took several special sessions to overhaul, but in the end the Governor got more or less what he wanted at the time.
In Florida, we have all sorts of convoluted laws that make it more difficult for victims to seek justice after they’ve been wronged. Technical sounding things like pre-suit determinations, notice processes, and caps on damages – they all work together to help big corporations and unscrupulous industries escape responsibility their bad acts. These laws were written with a clear political agenda in mind and were opposed by a large number of Republicans at the time of passage.
But that doesn’t seem to bother State Senator Darren Soto. In fact, Soto recently praised Florida’s disastrous medical malpractice system, calling it one that he would:
“be happy to see emulated in other states.”
“There’s nothing we can do to just stop people from suing, unfortunately,”
Soto recently told a roomful of doctors. The Florida Squeeze has obtained exclusive audio of Soto’s remarks at campaign event, during which he is asked about his views on malpractice lawsuits, whether he supports things like capping damages and how he would go about ending malpractice lawsuits.
Give it a listen here:
The Florida Legislature has set up all sorts of hurdles for victims of medical malpractice to overcome. Yet Darren Soto thinks this a “good balance” – one that other states whose laws currently give consumers and patients more protection, should copy? This fits with Soto’s zig-zagging legislative record which we’ve outlined time and again here, which puts the interests of lobbyists and business interests above that of his constituents.
It’s worth noting that Soto has a long history of siding with special interests over Florida’s consumers. As a State Legislator, Soto voted to extend sovereign immunity to large corporations like , voted to , and voted to impose onerous requirements on securing expert witnesses in medical malpractice cases in 2011 (HB 479).
With Darren Soto voting to undermine Floridians’ right to seek fair justice in our courts, do we really need him doing the same thing at the federal level?