Champ and Chump of the Week – 5/17/20: Ron DeSantis and Trial Lawyers

by | May 17, 2020

At the end of every week, we praise a political playmaker, “swipe left” on the week’s biggest political loser, and explain what it all means for Florida’s political arena. 

👍🏆 CHAMP: Governor Ron DeSantis

Champ of the Week

It was another important week for the Republican governor who has successfully navigated Florida through the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, DeSantis announced the next phase in Florida’s reopening — transitioning the state from the barebones phase 1, which was announced on May 4, to a less restrictive version that will reopen gyms and increase the capacity at restaurants and other businesses.

“Full phase one” was not the official next phase in Florida’s reopening process, serving more as a beta test in a much larger plan to get the Sunshine State back on its feet.

Many Floridians were expecting to see the floodgates open around the state, but instead, will have settle for baby steps in what could be a prolonged process.

Still, in a slow news week that saw the majority of political leaders focus on a $3 trillion stimulus package that House Democrats introduced, DeSantis choosing facts over fear is refreshing enough to crown him.

👎❌ CHUMP: Trial Lawyers

With Monday officially kicking off the next phase in restarting Florida’s economy, more businesses are beginning to reopen and return to normalcy.

On Friday, DeSantis announced that gyms would finally reopen, while the capacity at restaurants, retail stores, museums, and libraries would increase to 50 percent. On top of that, the governor is easing the ban on vacation rentals and other “non-essential” businesses are starting to see the light of day — signaling what could be the light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel.

While this is good for the state’s business community, waiting in the wing are bad actors looking to capitalize on the invisible enemy.

Frivolous lawsuits by trial lawyers are nothing new in the Sunshine State, but given the rise of COVID-19 across the state, business owners could soon see the crosshairs placed firmly on their livelihoods.

With the state much of the state finally starting to emerge from the shutdown, behind the scenes, battle lines are already being drawn — with Republicans eyeing potential legislation and predatory attorneys advertising their services on billboards across the state.

As the pandemic (hopefully) comes to a close, a new pandemic is on the horizon: trial lawyers looking to use this disease.


  1. Jim Graber

    Most lawsuits deal with a standard of prudent action. With CV19, no such standard exists,so the trial bar will concoct high bar “standards” and sue on them until court guidance sets a more appropriate and reasonable definition of what is not negligence. In the meantime, the businesses in this guinea pig stage of litigation face both daunting legal expenses as well as a perilous insurance environment.

  2. CP

    Then there is the trial lawyer dressing up as the grim reaper and traveling around the state to “warm” everyone. I suppose he should be warning us of debilitating legal actions he is planning on filing vs actual deaths.

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