Bob Rommel is the incumbent running for FL State Representative. Sara McFadden is running to replace him, and I’ll be voting for her. As chair of the Civil Justice Subcommittee, Mr Rommel used his position in 2020 to prevent HB-6051 from even being heard. There was no consideration, vote or hearing, all legislative action stopped.
The purpose of the bill was to amend the Florida Wrongful Death Act and remove a legal loophole in the state’s legal means for redressing a negligent death. It’s also called the “Free Kill Bill” because if an alleged victim of medical negligence has no spouse or children under 25, no legal case can be brought by children, or a parent, on their behalf. The statute only allows filing for negligible economic costs, which is usually just the cost of the funeral, and Florida laws make it extremely costly to bring any medical malpractice case.
The “Free Kill Bill” affected me in my mother’s suspicious death. Without going into the emotional details, it was a nightmare. Mr. Rommel told me that “you don’t need your parents after 25” and it was insinuated I was trying to profit from her death.
I contacted Ms. McFadden who knew about this statute, was sympathetic to the situation I found myself in and stated “thirty years of tort reform have not reduced costs or made Floridians safer. Arbitrary caps also affect the most catastrophically injured or developmentally disabled; putting those costs onto the taxpayer rather than the negligent party. Certainly, the bar for patient care and public safety is kept low without any means of legal redress or potential improvement.”