If it were up to two of Florida's largest companies, personal injury lawsuits filed in the state might not yield the big rewards they currently can.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that Disney World and supermarket chain Publix are pushing for legislation that would limit the money awarded for medical expenses in civil lawsuits against Florida businesses.
Lobbyists for the proposal argue that because of the complicated way in which doctors bill and are paid for their services, awards in such cases are often higher than they should be. Opponents claim the corporations are simply trying to dump the financial burden on innocent victims, according to The Orlando Sentinel.
Disney World and its sister park Disneyland have long histories of being sued by their guests over a variety of injuries, including accidents that allegedly occurred on their many rides. For example, Disneyland this year paid $8,000 after a disabled man was stranded on the "It's a Small World" ride for a half hour. Numerous guests have also claimed they were groped by Disney employees playing characters such as Donald Duck and Tigger, Slate reports.
Meanwhile, Publix estimates that if the Florida law passed, it could shave $1 million from the $37 million it paid last year on settlements and legal costs related to personal injury lawsuits, according to The Tampa Bay Business Journal.
Publix and Disney declined to answer specific questions about the proposal from the Orlando Sentinel, except to say they backed the legislation. Requests for comment from The Huffington Post via email were not returned by either company.
Disney’s efforts on lawsuit damages echo another attempt it made to keep down its business costs in Florida this past spring. The company was joined by Olive Garden owner Darden Restaurants in lobbying against guaranteed paid sick days for part-time workers.
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