In petition drives for the November Florida ballot, doctors want to limit attorneys' fees in malpractice cases, while attorneys want doctors with three malpractice verdicts to lose their licenses.
Each item needs almost 500,000 verified signatures to get on the statewide ballot, officials at the Florida Medical Association tell Modern Physician.
FMA officials add that their ballot item has collected more than 80,000 signatures, which means counties can begin verifying the signatures and the Florida Supreme Court can begin to assess the wording of the item.
On Aug. 15, after a heated lobbying campaign, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush signed a $500,000-per-doctor cap on noneconomic damages, extended to a $2.5 million total cap in cases involving catastrophic injury and multiple defendants. But neither side is content with the new law, and each is lobbying for more changes.
FMA's affiliate, Citizens for a Fair Share, is asking for a constitutional amendment would limit payments to attorneys to 30% of damages under $250,000.00 and 10% of damages over that figure.
Meanwhile, Floridians for Patient Protection, which is affiliated with the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers and the Florida Lawyers Action Group, is sponsoring three items related to malpractice.
In addition to taking away the license of any doctor who loses three malpractice cases, other items would require doctors and hospitals to disclose adverse medical incidents and require physicians to charge all patients the same fees.