Plaintiffs’ attorneys have been filing tens of thousands of civil lawsuits more than usual in the runup to the signing of a comprehensive tort reform bill by Gov. Ron DeSantis, according to multiple court system observers.

More than three-quarters of the civil cases filed from Jan. 1 to March 22 – two days before House Bill 837 was signed – were filed between March 17 and March 22, according to the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal. In addition, more than 6,100 cases were filed on March 24, the date of the signing, while only 505 were filed on Monday, the data shows.

“Clerks of court across the state saw a tremendous increase in civil filings in anticipation of the passage and signing of House Bill 837 into law,” the president of Florida Court Clerks and Comptrollers, Carolyn Timmann, said in a comment emailed to the Florida Record. “Our primary concern is having adequate resources to process the high volume of cases and appropriately serve all parties and the judiciary.”

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