ABC of Florida: CRC 23 would open industry to ‘frivolous’ lawsuits

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Official logo of the ABC of Florida (ABC of Florida)
Official logo of the ABC of Florida (ABC of Florida)

Calling for the rejection of CRC Proposal 23, the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Florida and 27 other organizations from varying sectors have recently signed a joint letter pleading their case with the Judicial Committee of the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC).

Besides the letter, the ABC of Florida has voiced its disapproval through a statement issued by its chief lobbyist Carol Bowen.

“The broad and vague language of this proposal would open Florida’s construction industry up to countless frivolous lawsuits regardless of compliance with existing laws or valid permits, and seriously harm development in our state,” Bowen said. “Challenges would be brought, potentially even by non-Floridians or business competitors, just to obstruct or delay legal activities, assuring prolonged uncertainty and creating judicial gridlock.”

Filed by former Sewall Point mayor Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, the proposal seeks the amendment of the state constitution to provide Floridians the ability to litigate “against any party, public or private” should they feel that their right to a “clean and healthful” environment has been threatened.

“My concern is that if you look at the… constitution today, all it has in it really is adequate provision,” Thurlow-Lippisch said. “I think adequate provision is very vague.”

However, industry groups responded that existing laws and regulations are already enough to uphold the right of Floridians to clean air and water. They believe that the proposed amendment is unnecessary and would “do nothing more than create prolonged and harmful uncertainty for Florida businesses.”