Florida Senate - 2018                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 1044
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       The Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs (Book)
       recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. This act may be cited as the “Civil Cause of
    6  Action for Victims of Human Trafficking Act.”
    7         Section 2. Section 787.061, Florida Statutes, is created to
    8  read:
    9         787.061 Civil actions by victims of human trafficking.—
   10         (1) FINDINGS.-The Legislature finds that, to achieve the
   11  intent of the Legislature relating to human trafficking
   12  expressed in s. 787.06(1)(d), it is necessary to provide a civil
   13  cause of action for the recovery of compensatory and punitive
   14  damages and costs.
   15         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   16         (a) “Facilitator” means a person who knowingly, or in
   17  willful blindness, assists or provides goods or services to a
   18  trafficker which assist or enable the trafficker to carry out
   19  human trafficking. The term does not include a person who
   20  facilitates human trafficking as a result of force, threat, or
   21  coercion.
   22         (b) “Human trafficking” has the same meaning as provided in
   23  s. 787.06.
   24         (c) “Trafficker” means any person who knowingly engages in
   25  human trafficking, attempts to engage in human trafficking, or
   26  benefits financially by receiving anything of value from
   27  participation in a venture that has subjected a person to human
   28  trafficking.
   29         (d) “Trust fund” means the Trust Fund for Victims of Human
   30  Trafficking and Prevention created in s. 787.0611.
   31         (e) “Venture” means any group of two or more individuals
   32  associated in fact, whether or not a legal entity.
   33         (f) “Victim of human trafficking” means a person subjected
   34  to coercion, as defined in s. 787.06, or by any other means, for
   35  the purpose of being used in human trafficking; a child under 18
   36  years of age subjected to human trafficking; or an individual
   37  subjected to human trafficking as defined by federal law.
   38         (g)“Willful blindness” exists when a person has knowledge
   39  of information that would raise suspicions in a reasonable
   40  person and he or she deliberately refrains from obtaining
   41  confirmation of or acting on the information because he or she
   42  wants to remain in ignorance, such that knowledge of the facts
   43  avoided can reasonably and fairly be imputed to the person who
   44  avoided confirming it.
   45         (3)CIVIL CAUSE OF ACTION.—
   46         (a)A victim of human trafficking has a civil cause of
   47  action against the trafficker or facilitator who victimized her
   48  or him and may recover damages as provided in this section.
   49         (b)The action may be brought in any court of competent
   50  jurisdiction, and the standard of proof is a preponderance of
   51  the evidence.
   52         (c)A victim who prevails in any such action is entitled to
   53  recover economic and noneconomic damages, penalties, punitive
   54  damages, reasonable attorney fees, reasonable investigative
   55  expenses, and costs.
   56         1.Economic damages include, but are not limited to, past
   57  and future medical and mental health expenses; repatriation
   58  expenses, when a victim elects repatriation; and all other
   59  reasonable costs and expenses incurred by the victim in the past
   60  or estimated to be incurred by the victim in the future as a
   61  result of the human trafficking.
   62         2.Noneconomic damages are nonfinancial losses that would
   63  not have occurred but for the victimization, and include pain
   64  and suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, mental
   65  anguish, disfigurement, loss of capacity for enjoyment of life,
   66  and other nonfinancial losses.
   67         (d)The remedies provided in this section are in addition
   68  to and cumulative with other legal and administrative remedies
   69  available to victims of human trafficking, except that a victim
   70  may not recover under both this section and s. 772.104(2). If a
   71  parent or legal guardian knowingly or through willful blindness
   72  trafficked the victim, facilitated such trafficking, or
   73  otherwise participated in the human trafficking of the victim,
   74  such parent or legal guardian is not entitled to damages or
   75  distributions under this section.
   76         (e)If a victim prevails in an action under this section,
   77  in addition to any other award imposed, the court shall assess a
   78  civil penalty against the defendant in the amount of $50,000.
   79  This penalty is in addition to and not in lieu of any other
   80  damage award. The civil penalty must be assessed by the court
   81  and may not be disclosed to the jury. Proceeds from this civil
   82  penalty shall be deposited into the trust fund.
   83         (f)If one or more law enforcement agencies rescued the
   84  victim or located the property where the abuse or exploitation
   85  of a victim or victims occurred, the court must impose a civil
   86  penalty against the defendant in the amount of $50,000 and award
   87  the penalty to the law enforcement agencies to fund future
   88  efforts to combat human trafficking. The court must equitably
   89  distribute this civil penalty among the law enforcement
   90  agencies.
   91         (g)The court shall have specific authority to consolidate
   92  civil actions for the same trafficker or facilitator for the
   93  purpose of case resolution and aggregate jurisdiction.
   94         (h)Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the
   95  amount of punitive damages awarded under this section shall be
   96  equally divided between the victim and the trust fund.
   97         (4) STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.—The statute of limitations as
   98  specified in ss. 95.11(7) and 95.11(9) is applicable to actions
   99  brought under this section.
  100         (5)AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE.—In any action brought under this
  101  section against the owner or operator of a public lodging
  102  establishment based on a claim of vicarious liability, it is an
  103  affirmative defense to damages recoverable under such claim if
  104  the owner or operator proves by the preponderance of evidence
  105  that:
  106         (a)It required management employees and employees of the
  107  establishment reasonably expected to routinely interact with
  108  guests to complete an educational program designed to
  109  effectively train such employees in the identification,
  110  prevention, and reporting of suspected human trafficking within
  111  30 days after hiring or by January 1, 2019, whichever occurs
  112  later;
  113         (b)It had in place an effective employee protocol or
  114  employee code of conduct to prevent, detect, and report
  115  suspected human trafficking; and
  116         (c)Any employee alleged in the action to have been
  117  facilitators of, or otherwise participants in, human
  118  trafficking, complied with the recommendations and practices
  119  suggested or required in the training, protocols, or policies
  120  required in this subsection.
  121         Section 3. Subsection (4) is added to section 772.104,
  122  Florida Statutes, to read:
  123         772.104 Civil cause of action.—
  124         (4)This section does not apply to a cause of action that
  125  may be brought under s. 787.061.
  126         Section 4. Subsections (7) and (9) of section 95.11,
  127  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  128         95.11 Limitations other than for the recovery of real
  129  property.—Actions other than for recovery of real property shall
  130  be commenced as follows:
  131         (7) FOR INTENTIONAL TORTS BASED ON ABUSE.—An action founded
  132  on alleged abuse, as defined in s. 39.01, s. 415.102, or s.
  133  984.03, or incest, as defined in s. 826.04, or human
  134  trafficking, as defined in s. 787.06, may be commenced at any
  135  time within 7 years after the age of majority, or within 4 years
  136  after the injured person leaves the dependency of the abuser, or
  137  within 4 years from the time of discovery by the injured party
  138  of both the injury and the causal relationship between the
  139  injury and the abuse, whichever occurs later.
  141  action related to an act constituting a violation of s. 794.011
  142  or brought pursuant to s. 787.061 involving a victim who was
  143  under the age of 16 at the time of the act may be commenced at
  144  any time. This subsection applies to any such action other than
  145  one which would have been time barred on or before July 1, 2010.
  146         Section 5. This act shall take effect October 1, 2018.
  148  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  149  And the title is amended as follows:
  150         Delete everything before the enacting clause
  151  and insert:
  152                        A bill to be entitled                      
  153         An act relating to victims of human trafficking;
  154         providing a short title; creating s. 787.061, F.S.;
  155         providing legislative findings; defining terms;
  156         providing a civil cause of action for victims of human
  157         trafficking against a trafficker or facilitator;
  158         providing procedures and requirements for bringing a
  159         claim; providing for damages, penalties, punitive
  160         damages, attorney fees, expenses, and costs; requiring
  161         a court to impose civil penalties in certain
  162         circumstances; providing for the deposit or
  163         distribution of civil penalties; requiring the equal
  164         distribution of punitive damages between victims and
  165         the trust fund; providing that such actions are
  166         subject to specified statute of limitations; providing
  167         an affirmative defense for owners or operators of
  168         public lodging establishments under certain
  169         circumstances; amending s. 772.104, F.S.; specifying
  170         that certain provisions concerning civil actions for
  171         criminal practices do not apply to actions that may be
  172         brought under s. 787.061, F.S.; amending s. 95.11,
  173         F.S.; conforming provisions to changes made by the
  174         act; providing an effective date.