You know, you might need a lawyer to fight your insurance company

Published dec. 17

Lawyers vs. insurance companies

Insurance change pass |Dec. 15

It’s popular to bash lawyers. I know. I’ve been a lawyer in Florida since 1979. The “solution of the day” in Tallahassee is to disallow attorney’s fees for homeowners who are forced to sue their insurance company to get the insurance company to honor the contract and pay the damage claim. If the Legislature takes away the threat that insurance companies will have to pay for the homeowner’s attorney fees when the homeowner prevails in a lawsuit against the insurer, don’t you think that denials of claims will increase? After all, denials of claims will go right to the bottom line and help improve insurance company profits if there is no punishment for bad behavior. And what is worse is that many people will not have access to the courts if they cannot recover their litigation costs if they win. It is popular to talk about frivolous lawsuits, but they rarely happen because there are already statutes on the books to punish litigants and their attorneys who file frivolous lawsuits in which there is a complete absence of justiciable issues of law or fact. How does stripping away homeowners’ rights help consumers? Are we naive enough to think this will actually lower premiums?

Gary Gibbons, St. Petersburg

Follow the money

Not a quick fix | Editorial, Dec. 13

Maybe the headline should be “Not a substantial fix.” I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the proposed property insurance legislation favors insurance companies. What surprised me was that the DeSantis administration was not able to provide financial information, and there was no requirement for them to do so. Tampa Bay Times staffer Lawrence Mower’s excellent reporting has demonstrated that many of the insurance companies that have bought up have paid excessive executive salaries, dividends and pass-throughs to related companies. Why isn’t the DeSantis administration, the chief financial officer or Legislature providing a probing and detailed analysis of this crisis, instead of taking their cues from the insurance industry?

Georgia Earps, Petersburg

Once too many

DeSantis requests a grand jury probe on vaccines | dec. 15

Gov. Ron DeSantis is at it again. Since his elections fraud crime unit arrested 20 felons for voting, even though the state issued voter registration cards to them, now he’s apparently after the pharmaceutical companies for developing COVID-19 vaccines in record time, which saved untold multitudes of people from being admitted to ICUs or dying. But the governor is concerned about the side effects. Yes, life-saving vaccines and medications have side effects, but the vaccines were tested safely and were proven to do what we needed them to do. But the governor has created a Public Health Integrity Committee to investigate and has chosen a number of his foxes to watch over the henhouse. Florida ranks third in total COVID-19 deaths and 14th in the rate of deaths per 100,000 people. why? Because the governor and his foxy surgeon general do not actively support the use of the vaccines. In fact, dr. Joseph Ladapo did not reject the use of the scientifically unproven drug hydroxychloroquine. People, except for the governor’s base, will tire of these useless attempts to prove the scientific community wrong, and DeSantis might be sorry he stirred the pot too many times.

Dr. David Lubin, Tampa

Just set it on fire

DeSantis requests a grand jury probe on vaccines | dec. 15

Why don’t we save some time and just burn the taxpayers’ money, maybe at the stake?

Rebecca Skelton, St. Petersburg

The money is there

Pay good public school teachers $100,000 and fire the bad ones | Column, Dec. 15

To those of you who will invariably ask how are we getting the money to pay teachers $100,000 a year, I say look at Iraq and Afghanistan? How much money did we spend in those two countries? Look at the military. We spend more on our defense budget than the next 10 countries combined.

Carlos J. DeCisneros, Tampa

Who can replace him?

This is my last column. Good night, everybody. | Column, Dec. 14

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Thank you, Leonard Pitts, for your years of intelligent and insightful writing. I only hope the Tampa Bay Times can find someone of your caliber to take over your space.

Judith Roberts, Land O’ Lakes

Pitts made me think

This is my last column. Good night, everybody. | Column, Dec. 14

Reading Leonard Pitts’ farewell column, I found myself shedding a tear. Good writers help us make sense of the crazy. They use their words to distill the daily onslaught of news into something manageable, opinion worthy. I will miss my twice weekly dose of Leonard Pitts railing against injustice, racism, the ongoing threat to democracy, poverty, and all those social ills that need a light shining brightly on them. His unique Florida perspective always gave me pause to think. That is good journalism.

Robin Frank, Tampa

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