October 28, 2020
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       Florida Senate - 2010                      CS for CS for SB 1964
       
       
       
       By the Committees on Judiciary; and Regulated Industries; and
       Senator Negron
       
       
       
       590-04412-10                                          20101964c2
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to design professionals; creating s.
    3         558.0035, F.S.; providing for limited liability for
    4         engineers, surveyors and mappers, architects, interior
    5         designers, and registered landscape architects as a
    6         result of construction defects resulting from the
    7         performance of a contract; providing exceptions;
    8         providing that the limitation of liability for the
    9         design professional does not apply if a contract
   10         requires professional liability insurance and the
   11         contracting party fails to maintain insurance, or if
   12         the liability of the design professional is limited in
   13         the contract to an amount less than the insurance
   14         coverage required by the contract; amending ss.
   15         471.023, 472.021, 481.219, and 481.319, F.S.;
   16         conforming sections to the limitation of liability for
   17         certain design professionals provided in s. 558.0035,
   18         F.S.; providing cross-references to s. 558.0035, F.S.;
   19         providing that the act does not affect contracts or
   20         agreements entered into, or professional services
   21         performed, before July 1, 2010; providing an effective
   22         date.
   23  
   24  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   25  
   26         Section 1. Section 558.0035, Florida Statutes, is created
   27  to read:
   28         558.0035Limitation of liability.—
   29         (1)A claimant contracting for the professional services of
   30  a design professional does not have a cause of action in tort
   31  against the design professional for the recovery of economic
   32  damages resulting from a construction defect.
   33         (2)This section does not apply to claims for economic
   34  damages resulting from personal injury or damage to property
   35  other than the property that is the subject of the contract.
   36         (3)This section does not apply if the contract requires
   37  professional liability insurance and the contracting party fails
   38  to maintain insurance coverage as specified in the contract or
   39  if the liability of the design professional is limited in the
   40  contract to an amount less than the liability insurance coverage
   41  required by the contract.
   42         Section 2. Subsection (3) of section 471.023, Florida
   43  Statutes, is amended to read:
   44         471.023 Certification of business organizations.—
   45         (3) Except as provided in s. 558.0035, the fact that a
   46  licensed engineer practices through a business organization does
   47  not relieve the licensee from personal liability for negligence,
   48  misconduct, or wrongful acts committed by him or her.
   49  Partnerships and all partners shall be jointly and severally
   50  liable for the negligence, misconduct, or wrongful acts
   51  committed by their agents, employees, or partners while acting
   52  in a professional capacity. Any officer, agent, or employee of a
   53  business organization other than a partnership shall be
   54  personally liable and accountable only for negligent acts,
   55  wrongful acts, or misconduct committed by him or her or
   56  committed by any person under his or her direct supervision and
   57  control, while rendering professional services on behalf of the
   58  business organization. The personal liability of a shareholder
   59  or owner of a business organization, in his or her capacity as
   60  shareholder or owner, shall be no greater than that of a
   61  shareholder-employee of a corporation incorporated under chapter
   62  607. The business organization shall be liable up to the full
   63  value of its property for any negligent acts, wrongful acts, or
   64  misconduct committed by any of its officers, agents, or
   65  employees while they are engaged on its behalf in the rendering
   66  of professional services.
   67         Section 3. Subsection (3) of section 472.021, Florida
   68  Statutes, is amended to read:
   69         472.021 Certification of partnerships and corporations.—
   70         (3) Except as provided in s. 558.0035, the fact that any
   71  registered surveyor and mapper practices through a corporation
   72  or partnership shall not relieve the registrant from personal
   73  liability for negligence, misconduct, or wrongful acts committed
   74  by him or her. Partnerships and all partners shall be jointly
   75  and severally liable for the negligence, misconduct, or wrongful
   76  acts committed by their agents, employees, or partners while
   77  acting in a professional capacity. Any officer, agent, or
   78  employee of a business organization other than a partnership
   79  shall be personally liable and accountable only for negligent
   80  acts, wrongful acts, or misconduct committed by him or her or
   81  committed by any person under his or her direct supervision and
   82  control while rendering professional services on behalf of the
   83  business organization. The personal liability of a shareholder
   84  or owner of a business organization, in his or her capacity as
   85  shareholder or owner, shall be no greater than that of a
   86  shareholder-employee of a corporation incorporated under chapter
   87  607. The business organization shall be liable up to the full
   88  value of its property for any negligent acts, wrongful acts, or
   89  misconduct committed by any of its officers, agents, or
   90  employees while they are engaged on its behalf in the rendering
   91  of professional services.
   92         Section 4. Subsection (11) of section 481.219, Florida
   93  Statutes, is amended to read:
   94         481.219 Certification of partnerships, limited liability
   95  companies, and corporations.—
   96         (11) No corporation, limited liability company, or
   97  partnership shall be relieved of responsibility for the conduct
   98  or acts of its agents, employees, or officers by reason of its
   99  compliance with this section. However, except as provided in s.
  100  558.0035, the architect who signs and seals the construction
  101  documents and instruments of service shall be liable for the
  102  professional services performed, and the interior designer who
  103  signs and seals the interior design drawings, plans, or
  104  specifications shall be liable for the professional services
  105  performed.
  106         Section 5. Subsection (6) of section 481.319, Florida
  107  Statutes, is amended to read:
  108         481.319 Corporate and partnership practice of landscape
  109  architecture; certificate of authorization.—
  110         (6) Except as provided in s. 558.0035, the fact that
  111  registered landscape architects practice landscape architecture
  112  through a corporation or partnership as provided in this section
  113  shall not relieve any landscape architect from personal
  114  liability for his or her professional acts.
  115         Section 6. This act does not apply to contracts or
  116  agreements entered into, or professional services performed,
  117  before July 1, 2010.
  118         Section 7. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

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