Florida Probate Lawsuits: What is the Applicable Version of the Statute?
The applicable version of a statute is ordinarily the one “in effect when the cause of action arose.” What does this mean? What should probate lawyers know about this? Florida lawyers know that ,sometimes, there are multiple versions of Florida statutes. Amended versions of statutes can be pretty different from the originals. Therefore, it is important to understand which version of a statute is applicable in your matter. A December 12, 2018 Fourth DCA opinion, Philip Morris USA Inc & R.J Reynolds Tobacco Company v. Stanley Martin & Estate of Carole Martin, discusses this issue.
Here, the defendants argue that the trial court erred by refusing to apply the post-1999 version of section 768.73. The defendants arguments is that the post-1999 version of the statute applies because plaintiff’s cause of action arose after 1999. The opinion states that “in civil cases, the applicable version of a statute is ordinarily the one in effect when,the cause of action arose.” In wrongful death actions like this one, the cause of action accrues on the date of the decedent’s death. When does the cause of action accrue in a Florida probate case? To learn more about wrongful death actions and damages, click here to read the entire opinion.