Shortly after a state House committee last month OK’d sweeping changes to the state’s litigation process, Speaker Paul Renner gathered a powerful array of business and insurance representatives in the Capitol’s Fourth Floor rotunda for a news conference.
They all agreed that, in making it harder to sue insurance companies, the legislation would reduce frivolous lawsuits and thereby protect businesses and everyday Floridians. At least that’s what certain GOP lawmakers and lobbyists believe.
One of those everyday Floridians, amid dozens who’d come to Tallahassee to oppose the bill, was watching the lobbyists speak that day in late February. His name is Gary Miracle, and he’s a former salesman who’d suffered amputation of all four of his extremities following a medical crisis, rendering him unable to perform basic life functions, much less hold a job.
He’s able to support his family because of a medical malpractice settlement — precisely the kind of legal process that the fellows in suits that day were intent on limiting. Standing there on prosthetic legs in the same room with them, Miracle felt completely unseen.