Florida Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (FL CALA) today announced that Tampa Bay businessman, Tom Gaitens has agreed to serve as state executive director. Gaitens is a businessman and activist who will bring a consistent voice of leadership in the effort to protect consumers and small businessmen from frivolous lawsuits.
“Florida’s economy is on the upswing after a very tough year, but we have to get the frivolous lawsuits under control,” said new FL CALA executive director Tom Gaitens. “Many small businesses and our medical personnel face courtroom extortion, and what many consumers don’t realize is that those added court costs are artificially driving up the prices of every product we buy. Furthermore, the amount of money being taken out of the economy to pay for lawsuits is causing Florida to lose important new jobs for the next generation of workers.”
For several years now, Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse has been working successfully in Florida to raise awareness about the need for lawsuit reform. Up until last year, Florida had consistently been ranked as a Judicial Hellhole with frivolous lawsuits driving up the cost of healthcare and insurance for consumers and creating obstacles for small businesses. In the 2019 legislative session, assignment of benefits reforms were passed out of the legislature and signed into law by Governor DeSantis, but the 2020 legislative session yielded no major reforms.
Under Gaitens’ leadership, CALA will be seeking to raise awareness on the need for additional reforms in areas of medicine, bad faith provisions, premises liability, workers compensation, and legal advertising. Already, CALA has served as a watchdog representing an impressive statewide array of grassroots activists who are in support of lawsuit reform. Gaitens will build on that to educate the public on the community impact of lawsuit abuse.
“The legislature is currently working on a bill to give our small businesses, public safety personnel, and medical personnel the protections that they need from frivolous lawsuits associated with COVID-19,” said Gaitens. “We need to pass that legislation and then keep the conversation going for more reforms.”
There is also an effort underway to change the state’s laws related to the bodily injury provisions included in Florida’s automobile insurance policies. Experts agree that if that law passes, it will likely spawn a new round of legal action that will enrich a few of the state’s major law firms while causing costs of auto insurance to skyrocket.
Gaitens added, “Multiple national studies have concluded that Florida’s wild west legal environment have hurt our state’s appeal to manufacturers and to secure corporate re-locations. Clean, high-wage jobs are being lost to other states. We need to reverse that trend and keep Florida’s economy moving forward.”
Tom Gaitens co-owns McDaniel Trading, in Sarasota, a commodities trading entity that specializes in feed for the dairy industry. Tom was the State Director of FreedomWorks.org from its inception until 2011. Tom has appeared on Fox Business Channel with Neil Cavuto and on other National and Local media discussing Public Policy. He founded two Grassroots/Campaign/Advocacy Businesses -The Lincoln Group and Liberty Tree Consulting. An original Founder of the Tea Party Movement (nationally), Tom created several umbrella organizations to facilitate coordination among groups and impact public policy both statewide and nationally. Tom has served on various Boards, including the Florida Taxpayers Union, James Madison Institute-Tampa Regional, The Boys and Girls Club of Riverview, and ALS Charter School. Tom is also the GOP State Committeeman for Hillsborough County. He graduated from the University of South Florida and is married with three children.