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Pre-Suit Arbitration Allocation of Damages

§ 766.208 Arbitration to allocate responsibility among multiple defendants.--

(1)  The provisions of this section shall apply when more than one defendant has participated in voluntary binding arbitration pursuant to s. 766.207.

(2)  Within 20 days after the determination of damages by the arbitration panel in the first arbitration proceeding, those defendants who have agreed to voluntary binding arbitration shall submit any dispute among them regarding the apportionment of financial responsibility to a separate binding arbitration proceeding. Such proceeding shall be with a panel of three arbitrators, which panel shall consist of the administrative law judge who presided in the first arbitration proceeding, who shall serve as the chief arbitrator, and two medical practitioners appointed by the defendants, except that if a hospital licensed pursuant to chapter 395 is involved in the arbitration proceeding, one arbitrator appointed by the defendants shall be a certified hospital risk manager. In the event the defendants cannot agree on their selection of arbitrators within 20 days after the determination of damages by the arbitration panel in the first arbitration proceeding, a list of not more than five nominees shall be submitted by each defendant to the director of the Division of Administrative Hearings, who shall select the other arbitrators but shall not select more than one from the list of nominees of any defendant.

(3)  The administrative law judge appointed to serve as the chief arbitrator shall convene the arbitrators for the purpose of determining allocation of responsibility among multiple defendants within 65 days after the determination of damages by the arbitration panel in the first arbitration proceeding.

(4)  The arbitration panel shall allocate financial responsibility among all defendants named in the notice of intent to initiate litigation, regardless of whether the defendant has submitted to arbitration. The defendants in the arbitration proceeding shall pay their proportionate share of the economic and noneconomic damages awarded by the arbitration panel. All defendants in the arbitration proceeding shall be jointly and severally liable for any damages assessed in arbitration. The determination of the percentage of fault of any defendant not in the arbitration case shall not be binding against that defendant, nor shall it be admissible in any subsequent legal proceeding.

(5)  Payment by the defendants of the damages awarded by the arbitration panel in the first arbitration proceeding shall extinguish those defendants’ liability to the claimant and shall also extinguish those defendants’ liability for contribution to any defendants who did not participate in arbitration.

(6)  Any defendant paying damages assessed pursuant to this section or s. 766.207 shall have an action for contribution against any nonarbitrating person whose negligence contributed to the injury.

History.–s. 55, ch. 88-1; s. 31, ch. 88-277; s. 305, ch. 96-410.

DISCLAIMER – Some of these Florida malpractice laws are exactly like they were first written years ago, but others have been amended several times over the years.  They can be amended again at any time.  For some of these laws you apply the version that existed at the time the malpractice occurred, but for others you apply the version of the law that exists at the time you file your case, or at the time your case gets to trial.  It can be tricky knowing which ones to use. We are showing you these Florida laws to help educate you about medical malpractice issues, but you should always consult an experienced Florida medical malpractice attorney before relying on these provisions. 

If you believe you or a loved one have been the victim of medical malpractice, please let us know. We are easy to talk to and would like to review your case.