Florida Senate - 2024                       CS for CS for SB 476
       By the Committees on Fiscal Policy; and Judiciary; and Senator
       594-03395-24                                           2024476c2
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to civil liability for the wrongful
    3         death of an unborn child; reordering and amending s.
    4         768.18, F.S.; revising the definition of the term
    5         “survivors” to include the parents of an unborn child;
    6         defining the term “unborn child”; amending s. 768.19,
    7         F.S.; prohibiting a right of action against the mother
    8         for the wrongful death of an unborn child; amending s.
    9         768.21, F.S.; authorizing parents of an unborn child
   10         to recover certain damages; conforming a cross
   11         reference; providing an effective date.
   13  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   15         Section 1. Section 768.18, Florida Statutes, is reordered
   16  and amended to read:
   17         768.18 Definitions.—As used in ss. 768.16-768.26:
   18         (1)(2) “Minor children” means children under 25 years of
   19  age, notwithstanding the age of majority.
   20         (2)(5) “Net accumulations” means the part of the decedent’s
   21  expected net business or salary income, including pension
   22  benefits, that the decedent probably would have retained as
   23  savings and left as part of her or his estate if the decedent
   24  had lived her or his normal life expectancy. “Net business or
   25  salary income” is the part of the decedent’s probable gross
   26  income after taxes, excluding income from investments continuing
   27  beyond death, that remains after deducting the decedent’s
   28  personal expenses and support of survivors, excluding
   29  contributions in kind.
   30         (3)(4) “Services” means tasks, usually of a household
   31  nature, regularly performed by the decedent that will be a
   32  necessary expense to the survivors of the decedent. These
   33  services may vary according to the identity of the decedent and
   34  survivor and shall be determined under the particular facts of
   35  each case.
   36         (4)(3) “Support” includes contributions in kind as well as
   37  money.
   38         (5)(1) “Survivors” means the decedent’s spouse, children,
   39  parents, and, when partly or wholly dependent on the decedent
   40  for support or services, any blood relatives and adoptive
   41  brothers and sisters. It includes the child born out of wedlock
   42  of a mother, but not the child born out of wedlock of the father
   43  unless the father has recognized a responsibility for the
   44  child’s support. It also includes the parents of an unborn
   45  child.
   46         (6) “Unborn child” has the same meaning as in s.
   47  775.021(5)(e).
   48         Section 2. Section 768.19, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   49  read:
   50         768.19 Right of action.—
   51         (1) When the death of a person is caused by the wrongful
   52  act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of
   53  any person, including those occurring on navigable waters, and
   54  the event would have entitled the person injured to maintain an
   55  action and recover damages if death had not ensued, the person
   56  or watercraft that would have been liable in damages if death
   57  had not ensued shall be liable for damages as specified in this
   58  act notwithstanding the death of the person injured, although
   59  death was caused under circumstances constituting a felony.
   60         (2)Notwithstanding any other provision of this act, a
   61  wrongful death action for the death of an unborn child may not
   62  be brought against the mother of the unborn child.
   63         Section 3. Subsection (4) and paragraph (a) of subsection
   64  (6) of section 768.21, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   65         768.21 Damages.—All potential beneficiaries of a recovery
   66  for wrongful death, including the decedent’s estate, shall be
   67  identified in the complaint, and their relationships to the
   68  decedent shall be alleged. Damages may be awarded as follows:
   69         (4) Each parent of a deceased minor child or an unborn
   70  child may also recover for mental pain and suffering from the
   71  date of injury. Each parent of an adult child may also recover
   72  for mental pain and suffering if there are no other survivors.
   73         (6) The decedent’s personal representative may recover for
   74  the decedent’s estate the following:
   75         (a) Loss of earnings of the deceased from the date of
   76  injury to the date of death, less lost support of survivors
   77  excluding contributions in kind, with interest. Loss of the
   78  prospective net accumulations of an estate, which might
   79  reasonably have been expected but for the wrongful death,
   80  reduced to present money value, may also be recovered:
   81         1. If the decedent’s survivors include a surviving spouse
   82  or lineal descendants; or
   83         2. If the decedent is not a minor child as defined in s.
   84  768.18 s. 768.18(2), there are no lost support and services
   85  recoverable under subsection (1), and there is a surviving
   86  parent.
   88  Evidence of remarriage of the decedent’s spouse is admissible.
   89         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2024.