(1) The fund shall be disbursed as provided in s. 489.141 on a final order of the board.
(2) Any claimant who meets all of the conditions prescribed in s. 489.141 may apply to the board to cause payment to be made to a claimant from the recovery fund in an amount equal to the judgment, award, or restitution order or $25,000, whichever is less, or an amount equal to the unsatisfied portion of such person’s judgment, award, or restitution order, but only to the extent and amount of actual damages suffered by the claimant. Payment from the fund for other costs related to or pursuant to civil proceedings such as postjudgment interest, attorney’s fees, court costs, medical damages, and punitive damages is prohibited. The recovery fund is not obligated to pay any judgment, award, or restitution order, or any portion thereof, which is not expressly based on one of the grounds for recovery set forth in s. 489.141. Beginning January 1, 2005, for each contract entered after July 1, 2004, payment from the recovery fund shall be subject to a $50,000 maximum payment.
(3) Upon receipt by a claimant under subsection (2) of payment from the recovery fund, the claimant shall assign his or her additional right, title, and interest in the judgment, award, or restitution order, to the extent of such payment, to the board, and thereupon the board shall be subrogated to the right, title, and interest of the claimant; and any amount subsequently recovered on the judgment, award, or restitution order, to the extent of the right, title, and interest of the board therein, shall be for the purpose of reimbursing the recovery fund.
(4) Payments for claims arising out of the same transaction shall be limited, in the aggregate, to the lesser of the judgment, award, or restitution order or the maximum payment allowed, regardless of the number of claimants involved in the transaction.
(5) Payments for claims against any one licensee shall not exceed, in the aggregate, $100,000 annually, up to a total aggregate of $250,000. For any claim approved by the board which is in excess of the annual cap, the amount in excess of $100,000 up to the total aggregate cap of $250,000 is eligible for payment in the next and succeeding fiscal years, but only after all claims for the then-current calendar year have been paid. Payments may not exceed the aggregate annual or per claimant limits under law. Beginning January 1, 2005, for each contract entered into after July 1, 2004, payment from the recovery fund is subject only to a total aggregate cap of $500,000.
(6) Claims shall be paid in the order filed, up to the aggregate limits for each transaction and licensee and to the limits of the amount appropriated to pay claims against the fund for the fiscal year in which the claims were filed.
(7) If the annual appropriation is exhausted with claims pending, such claims shall be carried forward to the next fiscal year. Any moneys in excess of pending claims remaining in the recovery fund at the end of the fiscal year shall be paid as provided in s. 468.631.
(8) Upon the payment of any amount from the recovery fund in settlement of a claim in satisfaction of a judgment, award, or restitution order against a licensee as described in s. 489.141, the license of such licensee shall be automatically suspended, without further administrative action, upon the date of payment from the fund. The license of such licensee shall not be reinstated until he or she has repaid in full, plus interest, the amount paid from the fund. A discharge of bankruptcy does not relieve a person from the penalties and disabilities provided in this section.
(9) Any firm, corporation, partnership, or association, or any person acting in his or her individual capacity, who aids, abets, solicits, or conspires with any person to knowingly present or cause to be presented any false or fraudulent claim for the payment of a loss under this act is guilty of a third-degree felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.084 and by a fine not exceeding $30,000, unless the value of the fraud exceeds $30,000 in which event the fine may not exceed double the value of the fraud.
(10) All payments and disbursements from the recovery fund shall be made by the Chief Financial Officer upon a voucher signed by the secretary of the department or the secretary’s designee.
History.—s. 21, ch. 93-166; s. 267, ch. 94-119; s. 12, ch. 96-298; s. 73, ch. 96-388; s. 1131, ch. 97-103; s. 1, ch. 98-162; s. 34, ch. 98-419; s. 7, ch. 2004-84.