HB 595

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to community behavioral health agencies;
3creating s. 394.9085, F.S.; providing that certain
4facilities or programs have liability limits in tort
5actions under certain circumstances; limiting net economic
6damages allowed per claim; requiring that damages be
7offset by collateral source payment in accordance with s.
8768.76, F.S.; providing for claims bills to be filed with
9the Legislature; requiring that costs to defend actions be
10assumed by the provider or its insurer; specifying
11occasions upon which immunities enjoyed by the provider
12extend to the employee; requiring that providers obtain
13and maintain specified liability coverage; specifying that
14persons providing contractual services to the state are
15not considered agents or employees under ch. 440, F.S.;
16providing for an annual increase in the conditional
17limitations on damages; providing definitions; providing
18an effective date.
20Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
22     Section 1.  Section 394.9085, Florida Statutes, is created
23to read:
24     394.9085  Behavioral provider liability.--
25     (1)  In any tort action based on services provided for
26crisis stabilization brought against a detoxification program,
27an addictions receiving facility, or a designated public
28receiving facility, net economic damages shall be limited to $1
29million per liability claim, including, but not limited to, past
30and future medical expenses, wage loss, and loss of earning
31capacity, offset by any collateral source payment paid in
32accordance with s. 768.76. In any tort action based on services
33provided for crisis stabilization brought against any
34detoxification program, an addictions receiving facility, or a
35designated public receiving facility, noneconomic damages shall
36be limited to $200,000 per claim. Any claim may be settled up to
37policy limits without further act of the Legislature. A claims
38bill may be brought on behalf of a claimant pursuant to s.
39768.28 for any amount exceeding the limits specified in this
40subsection. Any costs in defending actions brought under this
41section shall be assumed by the provider or its insurer.
42     (2)  The liability of a detoxification program, an
43addictions receiving facility, or any designated public
44receiving facility shall be exclusive and in place of all other
45liability of such provider. The same immunities from liability
46enjoyed by such providers extend as well to each employee of the
47provider when the employee is acting in furtherance of the
48provider's responsibilities under its contract with the
49department. Such immunities do not apply to a provider or
50employee who acts in a culpably negligent manner or with willful
51and wanton disregard or unprovoked physical aggression if such
52acts result in injury or death.
53     (3)  The eligible provider under this section must, as part
54of its contract, obtain and maintain a minimum of $1 million per
55claim and $3 million per incident in general liability coverage.
56     (4)  This section does not designate a person who provides
57contracted services to the department as an employee or agent of
58the state for purposes of chapter 440.
59     (5)  The Legislature is cognizant of the increasing costs
60of goods and services each year and recognizes that fixing a set
61amount of compensation actually has the effect of a reduction in
62compensation each year. Accordingly, the conditional limitations
63on damages in this section shall be increased at the rate of 5
64percent each year, prorated from July 1, 2006, to the date at
65which damages subject to such limitations are awarded by final
66judgment or settlement.
67     (6)  For purposes of this section, the terms
68"detoxification program," "addictions receiving facility," and
69"receiving facility" have the same meanings as those provided in
70ss. 397.311(18)(b), 397.311(18)(a), and 394.455(26),
72     Section 2.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2006.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.