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The Florida Statutes

The 2009 Florida Statutes

Title XIX
PUBLIC BUSINESS
Chapter 282
COMMUNICATIONS AND DATA PROCESSING
View Entire Chapter
Section 282.5004, Florida Statutes 2009

282.5004  Damages for failure to be year 2000 compliant; mediation; limitation on class actions; statute of limitations.--

(1)  Unless otherwise provided by a contract or tariff, any business may be liable only for direct economic damages caused by the failure of its information technology products to be year 2000 compliant, as provided in this section.

(2)  Unless otherwise provided by a contract or tariff, any governmental agency may be liable only for direct economic damages caused by the failure of its information technology products to be year 2000 compliant, and only within the limits on the waiver of sovereign immunity established in s. 768.28.

(3)  The provisions of s. 768.81 apply to the award of damages under this section.

(4)  Damages awarded under this section shall exclude any damages that the plaintiff:

(a)  Could have avoided or mitigated with the exercise of reasonable care; or

(b)  Could have reasonably avoided or mitigated as a result of any written or otherwise communicated disclosure actually made by the defendant before December 1, 1999, in a manner consistent with that used in the past to give notifications to the plaintiff or persons similarly situated, concerning whether any of the information technology products of the business or governmental agency was year 2000 compliant.

(5)(a)  A business or governmental agency is not liable for direct economic damages if it proves by a preponderance of the evidence that it has:

1.  Secured an assessment, by a person who possesses the technical skills, experience, or competence with respect to information technology resources to evaluate information technology products for year 2000 compliance, to determine actions necessary to make the information technology products of the business or governmental agency year 2000 compliant and, based on that assessment, holds before December 1, 1999, a reasonable good faith belief that those products are year 2000 compliant; or

2.  Before December 1, 1999, conducted a date-data test of its information technology products and as a result of such test has a reasonable good faith belief that they are year 2000 compliant; or

3.  If it has five or fewer employees and has a net worth of $100,000 or less, made reasonable efforts to assess whether the entities on whose goods or services it relies and with whom it is in privity have provided information technology products that are year 2000 compliant and, with respect to each such entity, either:

a.  Holds before December 1, 1999, a reasonable good faith belief, based on the response to inquiries or on research, that the entity has provided information technology products that are year 2000 compliant; or

b.  Discloses in writing to the other party before December 1, 1999, in a manner consistent with that used in the past to give written notifications to that party, that the entity has provided information technology products that are presumed not to be year 2000 compliant or that, based on the response to inquiries, the entity is making reasonable good faith efforts to make its information technology products become year 2000 compliant.

(b)  All defenses that would otherwise be available to a business or governmental agency in any other action, including an action based on negligence, remain available with respect to an action under this section. Moreover, the failure of a business or governmental agency to comply with paragraph (a) shall not create a presumption of liability and no inference may be drawn from such failure.

(6)  Beginning January 1, 2000, upon the filing of any lawsuit or the presentation of a claim for arbitration under s. 282.5007 seeking damages under this section, and prior to the filing of an answer or response, the court having jurisdiction shall refer the claim to mediation under s. 44.102 unless the court determines that the interests of justice would not be served. The time to file the answer or response shall be tolled for up to 60 days after service of process on the defendant or until the conclusion of the mediation, whichever is earlier.

(7)  A class action may not be maintained in this state:

(a)  Against a governmental agency for damages caused by the failure of its information technology products to be year 2000 compliant.

(b)  Against a business for damages caused by the failure of its information technology products to be year 2000 compliant, unless each member of the class has suffered direct economic damages in excess of $50,000.

(8)  Any action for damages under this section must be commenced on or before March 1, 2002, but the running of this time is tolled from the date any offer is made to submit the claim to mediation until the conclusion of mediation.

History.--s. 4, ch. 99-230.

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