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Florida Supreme Court approves changes to appellate rules permitting interlocutory appeal of rulings granting or denying a motion to assert a claim for punitive damages

On January 6, 2022, the Florida Supreme Court published a corrected opinion approving an amendment to Fla. R. App. P. 9.130 adding new subdivision (a)(3)(G) to authorize appeals of nonfinal orders that grant or deny a motion for leave to amend to assert a claim for punitive damages. The amendment took effect on April 1, 2022. Judge Labarga noted in dissent that as of 2018 no other state had such a rule and that the heart of the majority’s decision, a concern for the privacy of financial discovery since discovery of financial worth is not available until after a pleading concerning punitive damages is permitted (see Fla. Stat. § 768.72(1)), can be protected by a confidentiality order entered upon the request of the disclosing party.

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