February 2022

Avoiding a “Public Hazard” Label Under the Florida Sunshine in Litigation Act

The Trial Advocate

Product liability and mass torts partner Traci McKee and associate Bryan Pasciak coauthored an article for the Florida Defense Lawyers Association’s magazine, The Trial Advocate, titled “Avoiding a ‘Public Hazard’ Label Under the Florida Sunshine in Litigation Act.”

McKee and Pasciak provide a summary of the Florida Sunshine in Litigation Act (FSLA), which was enacted by Florida legislature in 1990 in response to a national movement fueled by concerns that protective orders and sealed court records were used to hide product defects and to conceal important information from the public view. The authors emphasize that the FSLA’s vague definition and ambiguous standard of “public hazard” is problematic for product manufacturers.

Only a handful of Florida courts have addressed the FSLA since its enactment, and the authors examine these cases and discuss the outcomes. The authors address the strong arguments that the FSLA creates several constitutional violations, including violating the separation of powers doctrine, being unconstitutionally vague and constituting unlawful taking without just compensation.

The full article is available for members of the Florida Defense Lawyers Association.

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