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Sovereign Immunity

Sovereign Immunity refers to the principle that a government cannot be sued by its citizens. It derives from the old English notion that “the King can do no wrong.” This law can be (and has been, in Florida) waived by the government under certain circumstances. The state of Florida and its agencies and subdivisions can be sued; however, there are certain limitations.

First, the State of Florida is not liable for any punitive damages or interest for the period before judgment. Second, the state has imposed a cap on damages of $200,000 for an individual and $300,000 total for any particular incident, regardless of how many individual claims there may be.

This sovereign immunity protection applies to numerous hospitals in Florida that are owned or operated as agencies of the State. It also can apply to certain doctors, residents and other care providers who are rendering care in association with a medical school in the State.