Florida Medical Liability Compensation, Amendment 3 (2004)

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Florida Medical Liability Compensation Amendment, also known as Amendment 3, was an initiated constitutional amendment on the November 2, 2004 election ballot in Florida, where it was approved.

The amendment added Article I, Section 26 of the Florida Constitution to set limits on how much lawyers can earn from medical liability claim settlements.[1]

Election results

Florida Amendment 3 (2004)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 4,583,164 63.58%
No2,622,14336.38%

Results via: the Florida Department of State, Division of Elections

Text of measure

The ballot title read:

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

The Medical Liability Claimant's Compensation Amendment[1]

The ballot summary read:

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

Proposes to amend the State Constitution to provide that an injured claimant who enters into a contingency fee agreement with an attorney in a claim for medical liability is entitled to no less than 70% of the first $250,000.00 in all damages received by the claimant, and 90% of damages in excess of $250,000.00, exclusive of reasonable and customary costs and regardless of the number of defendants. This amendment is intended to be self-executing.[1]

The fiscal note was as follows:

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

The direct financial impact this amendment will have on state and local government revenues and expenditures cannot be determined.[2]

Constitutional changes

The text of the amendment read:

Section 1.

Article I, Section 26 is created to read "Claimant's right to fair compensation." In any medical liability claim involving a contingency fee, the claimant is entitled to receive no less than 70% of the first $250,000.00 in all damages received by the claimant, exclusive of reasonable and customary costs, whether received by judgement, settlement, or otherwise, and regardless of the number of defendants. The claimant is entitled to 90% of all damages in excess of $250,000.00, exclusive of reasonable and customary costs and regardless of the number of defendants. This provision is self- executing and does not require implementing legislation.

This Amendment shall take effect on the day following approval by the voters.[1]

Campaign contributions

The group opposing Amendment 3 outspent the group supporting Amendment 3 by a factor of about 3-to-1 with $8,234,777 coming from the "yes" side and $24,669,700 coming from the "no" side.

Supporters

Amendment 3 major donors were:

  • Florida Medical Association, $$2,155,961
  • Citizens for Tort Reform, $439,630
  • Tenet Healthcare, $105,000
  • Baptist Health South Florida, $100,000
  • Florida Cardiology, $100,000
  • American Medical Association, $100,000[3]

Opponents

Amendment 3 was opposed by a group called Floridians for Patient Protection. Its major donors were:

  • Searcy, Denney, Scarola, Barnhart & Shipley: $1,051,450
  • Brown, Terrell, Hogan, Ellis, McClamma & Yegelwel, $947,280
  • Grossman & Roth, $700,000
  • Coker, Myers, Schickel, Sorenson & Green, $665,000
  • Pajcic & Pajcic, $635,000
  • Maher, Guiley Maher, $625,000
  • Krupnick Campbell Malone et al, $550,000
  • Ferraro and Associates, $520,000
  • Harrell & Johnson, $420,000
  • CFS Inc. $370,000
  • Levin Papantonio $325,000
  • Bbbitt Johnson Osborne, $310,000
  • Leesfield, Leighton, Rubio, Mahfood & Boyers, $300,000
  • Haggard Parks Haggard & Bologna, $297,600
  • Rossman Baumberger Reboso & Spier, $290,000
  • Cohen Jayson & Foster, $280,000
  • Lyal Reiter Clark Fountain & Williams, $275,000
  • Podhurst Orseck $275,000
  • Donald Hinkle, $270,000
  • Leopold Ricci, $260,000[4]

Path to the ballot

  • Amendment 3 was sponsored by Citizens for a Fair Share. Sandra B. Mortham was the group's chairperson.[1]
  • The initiative petition required 488,722 signatures and 499,148 were found valid.[1]

See also

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