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Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorneys > Blog > Medical Malpractice > Lawmakers File Four Bills To Fight Florida ‘Free Kill’ Medical Malpractice Law

Lawmakers File Four Bills To Fight Florida ‘Free Kill’ Medical Malpractice Law


Doctors, nurses, and others involved in providing medical care are all capable of making serious mistakes. Unfortunately, these can have devastating consequences for victims and their families. Medical malpractice in Tampa is an unfortunately common problem and can prove life-threatening. While negligent medical providers can be held accountable, the law limits who can sue on the victim’s behalf.

Critics refer to this as Florida’s ‘free kill’ law. Our Tampa medical malpractice attorney explains four bills filed recently in the state legislature that aim to overturn it and how it would impact victims and their loved ones.

Fighting For The Rights Of Medical Malpractice Victims

Medical malpractice can have life-threatening impacts on patients. A missed diagnosis, the wrong medication, surgical errors, and other mistakes may end up proving fatal. When this occurs due to medical provider negligence, surviving family members are entitled under the Florida Statutes to hold them accountable.

However, a decades-old and often overlooked provision in the statutes, known as the ‘free kill’ law, prevents parents, adult children, and other loved ones from seeking compensation for their loss in the following cases:

  • If the victim is 25 or older;
  • If they are unmarried or widowed;
  • If they do not have children under the age of 25.

This essentially robs grieving families of the chance to get justice and allows medical providers to get away with negligent behavior that could end up endangering other patients. Lawmakers recently took action to change the situation. If passed, four recently filed bills with the Florida Senate and the House of Representatives would effectively put an end to the ‘free kill’ law.

New Legislation Would Help Ensure Justice For All Tampa Medical Malpractice Victims

A December 2023 WTSP News investigative report highlighted several heartbreaking stories from families of medical malpractice victims who were denied justice, as well as the proposed bills designed to put an end to Florida’s ‘free kill’ law. These include:

  • House Bill 77 and Senate Bill 310, repealing parts of Florida’s medical malpractice law that prevents parents of adult children from recovering damages in fatal medical malpractice claims.
  • House Bill 129 and Senate Bill 442, repealing the entire ‘free kill’ subsection, allowing anyone to file a medical malpractice claim in Florida.

Lawmakers will vote on the bills at upcoming hearings. While proponents hope the changes are approved, six similar bills aimed at overruling or modifying Florida’s ‘free kill’ law have failed in recent years.

Discuss Your Options With Our Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorneys

The death of a loved one due to medical malpractice in Tampa is devastating. Not being able to get a sense of justice and hold negligent medical providers accountable only increases the heartbreak grieving families experience.

At Greco & Wozniak, P.A., we fight for your rights in these cases. To discuss the recent changes in state law and your options in filing a claim, call or contact our office and request a consultation with our Tampa medical malpractice attorneys today.




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