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 negligence
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.; requiring that costs to defend actions be
9assumed by the provider or its insurer; specifying
10occasions upon which the limitations on liability enjoyed
11by the provider extend to the employee; requiring that
12providers obtain and maintain specified liability
13coverage; specifying that persons providing contractual
14services to the state are not considered agents or
15employees under ch. 440, F.S.; providing for an annual
16increase in the conditional limitations on damages;
17providing definitions; providing construction; preserving
18sovereign immunity for governmental units and entities
19protected by sovereign immunity; providing an effective
22Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
24     Section 1.  Section 394.9085, Florida Statutes, is created
25to read:
26     394.9085  Behavioral provider liability.--
27     (1)(a)  In any negligence action for damages for personal
28injury or wrongful death arising out of the provision of
29services for crisis stabilization brought against a
30detoxification program, an addictions receiving facility, or a
31designated public receiving facility, net economic damages shall
32be limited to $1 million per liability claim, including, but not
33limited to, past and future medical expenses, wage loss, and
34loss of earning capacity. In computing net economic damages,
35such damages shall be offset by any collateral source payment
36paid in accordance with s. 768.76.
37     (b)  In any negligence action for damages for personal
38injury or wrongful death arising out of the provision of
39services for crisis stabilization brought against any
40detoxification program, an addictions receiving facility, or a
41designated public receiving facility, noneconomic damages shall
42be limited to $200,000 per claim.
43     (c)  Any costs in defending actions brought under this
44section shall be assumed by the provider or its insurer.
45     (2)  The limitations on liability of a detoxification
46program, an addictions receiving facility, or any designated
47public receiving facility as described in subsection (1) shall
48be exclusive. Such limitations apply to each employee of the
49provider when the employee is acting in furtherance of the
50provider's responsibilities under its contract with the
51department. Such limitations do not apply to a provider or
52employee who acts in a culpably negligent manner or with willful
53and wanton disregard or unprovoked physical aggression if such
54acts result in injury or death.
55     (3)  The eligible provider under this section must, as part
56of its contract, obtain and maintain an insurance policy
57providing a minimum of $1 million per claim and $3 million per
58incident in coverage for claims described in subsection (1).
59     (4)  This section does not designate a person who provides
60contracted services to the department as an employee or agent of
61the state for purposes of chapter 440.
62     (5)  The Legislature is cognizant of the increasing costs
63of goods and services each year and recognizes that fixing a set
64amount of compensation actually has the effect of a reduction in
65compensation each year. Accordingly, the conditional limitations
66on damages in this section shall be increased at the rate of 5
67percent each year, prorated from July 1, 2006, to the date at
68which damages subject to such limitations are awarded by final
69judgment or settlement.
70     (6)  For purposes of this section, the terms
71"detoxification program," "addictions receiving facility," and
72"receiving facility" have the same meanings as those provided in
73ss. 397.311(18)(b), 397.311(18)(a), and 394.455(26),
75     (7)  This section shall not be construed to waive sovereign
76immunity for any governmental unit or other entity protected by
77sovereign immunity. Section 768.28 shall continue to apply to
78all governmental units and such entities.
79     Section 2.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2006.

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