Orlando State Representative Johanna López, a Democrat, filed House Bill 1435, which would fix Florida Statute 768.21 subsection 8 known as the “free kill” law. This Statute denies unmarried adults without minor children equal well-deserved protection under the law and deprives the survivors of these individuals of their right to access the courts for redress as enumerated by the Florida Constitution in the case of medical negligence causing deaths; all this makes Florida the only state with this law.
The Democratic legislator said a person shouldn’t fear dying and leaving their family in severe debt because of another person’s mistake – that this is not what a society that takes care of its citizens should stand for. The Democrat said the “outdated law” impacts all Floridians, including friends, families and even ourselves.
“No one should have to endure the additional hardships that come with Florida being the only ‘free kill’ state,” said Representative Johanna López. “This legislation will ensure that families receive at least some support and closure in the tragic event of medical malpractice.”
“No matter who you are or who you leave behind, Florida law should apply to and protect all Floridians equally in cases of wrongful death – that’s our goal,” said Leader Lauren Book, a Davie Democrat. “We are working to ensure equal protection under Florida law, and to bring our state into posture with the rest of the nation by eliminating arbitrary carve-outs which leave families of adult children and parents suffering in cases of medical malpractice.”
Last year HB 1435 was divided into two bills that were sponsored by Gainesville Representative Yvonne Hinson and Fort Myers Rep. Spencer Roach. This year they are proud to co-sponsor this legislation alongside Republican Valrico Rep. Mike Beltran, Coral Springs Democratic Rep. Dan Daley, Orlando Rep. Anna Eskamani, Republican Miami Rep. Alina Garcia, Democratic Orlando Rep. Rita Harris, Republican Polk Rep. Sam H. Killebrew, and Democratic Wellington Rep. Katherine Waldron who will work alongside Representative López to make history by making Florida the 50th state that guarantees medical protection to all its citizens.
“I was proud to sponsor HB 1435: Damages Recoverable in Wrongful Death Actions last year, and I am proud to support it again,” said Gainesville Rep. Yvonne Hinson, a Democrat. “Sabrina Davis came to me last Session, and her story hit close to home. Adult children who often share stories like Sabrina’s should not be prohibited from recovering damages in medical negligence suits. This bill cannot bring loved ones back, but it can let us show compassion to our aggrieved Florida families.”