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Jeb Bush signs Florida tort reform bill


TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has signed a law that repeals the doctrine of joint and several liability in the state.

H.B. 145, which won legislative approval late last month, substitutes a system of proportional liability—under which a defendant in a civil case pays only its assigned portion of the damages suffered by the plaintiff—for the joint and several system, under which any defendant can be held liable for the entire award regardless of that defendant's share of blame.

"We've built one of the most attractive business environments in the world, but to stay competitive we must continue eliminating impediments to our future success," said the Republican governor in a statement issued Wednesday as he signed the bill into law. "Predatory litigation limits job creation and increases consumer costs for hardworking Floridians."