...But They'll Be Back

In what is becoming a theme for the day, Florida business interests tried to push a package of tort "reform" measures through the state legislature, but only got a fraction of what they wanted this session.

Described by the Miami Herald as a "high priority" for business groups such as the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Associated Industries of Florida, and as Jeb Bush's "pet project," tort reform brought "mobs of lobbyists" to Tallahassee and was the subject of several bills.

Pro-business legislators did manage to grant immunity to utilities for accidents and injuries caused by broken or burnt-out street lights. Another bill barred some consumers for suing over asbestos claims (as in Texas).

But bills limiting class-action lawsuits, a cherished goal of the tort reformers, didn't get through the legislature, and a law that would limit manufacturers' liability for defective products died before reaching the floor.