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The Florida Statutes

The 2022 Florida Statutes

Title XXIX
PUBLIC HEALTH
Chapter 400
NURSING HOMES AND RELATED HEALTH CARE FACILITIES
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F.S. 400.024
400.024 Failure to satisfy a judgment or settlement agreement; required notification to claimants.
(1) Upon the entry by a Florida court of an adverse final judgment against a licensee as defined in s. 400.023(2) which arises from an award pursuant to s. 400.023, including an arbitration award, for a claim of negligence or a violation of residents’ rights, in contract or tort, or from noncompliance with the terms of a settlement agreement as determined by a court or arbitration panel, which arises from a claim pursuant to s. 400.023, the licensee shall pay the judgment creditor the entire amount of the judgment, award, or settlement and all accrued interest within 60 days after the date such judgment, award, or settlement becomes final and subject to execution unless otherwise mutually agreed to in writing by the parties. Failure to make such payment shall result in additional grounds that may be used by the agency for revoking a license or for denying a renewal application or a related party change of ownership application as provided in this section.
(2) The agency is deemed notified of an unsatisfied judgment or settlement under subsection (1) when a certified copy of the judgment and a certified copy of a valid judgment lien certificate, filed in accordance with ss. 55.202 and 55.203, are served to the agency by process server or received by certified mail, return receipt requested. Within 60 days after receiving such documents, the agency shall notify the licensee by certified mail, return receipt requested, that it is subject to disciplinary action unless, within 30 days after the date of mailing the notice, the licensee:
(a) Shows proof that the unsatisfied judgment or settlement has been paid in the amount specified;
(b) Shows proof of the existence of a payment plan mutually agreed upon by the parties in writing;
(c) Furnishes the agency with a copy of a timely filed notice of appeal;
(d) Furnishes the agency with a copy of a court order staying execution of the final judgment; or
(e) Shows proof by submitting an order from a court or arbitration panel that is overseeing any action seeking indemnification from an insurance carrier or other party that the licensee believes is required to pay the award.
(3) If the agency is placed on notice pursuant to subsection (2) and proof pursuant to subsection (2) is not provided by the licensee, the agency shall issue an emergency order pursuant to s. 120.60 declaring that the facility lacks financial ability to operate and a notice of intent to revoke or deny a license.
(4) After the agency is placed on notice pursuant to subsection (2), the following applies:
(a) If the license is subject to renewal, the agency may deny the license renewal unless compliance with this section is achieved.
(b) If a change of ownership application for the facility at issue is submitted by the licensee, by a person or entity identified as having a controlling interest in the licensee, or by a related party, the agency shall deny the change of ownership application unless compliance with this section is achieved.
(c) If an adverse final judgment under subsection (1) is entered, but payment is not yet due and a change of ownership application for the facility at issue is submitted by the licensee, by a person or entity identified as having a controlling interest in the licensee, or by a related party, the adverse final judgment becomes the responsibility and liability of the transferee if the agency approves the change of ownership application.
(5) If a change of ownership application for the facility at issue is submitted by the licensee, by a person or entity identified as having a controlling interest in the licensee, or by a related party:
(a) The licensee or transferor must provide written notice of the submission of the application to each pending claimant or the claimant’s attorney of record, if applicable. The written notice must be provided within 14 days after the date the application is submitted to the agency. Notice must be provided by certified mail, return receipt requested, or other method that provides verification of receipt.
(b) A claimant has 30 days after the date of receipt of the written notice to object to the application if the claimant has reason to believe that the approval of the application would facilitate a fraudulent transfer or allow the transferor to avoid financial responsibility for the claimant’s pending claim.
(c) The agency must consider any objection brought pursuant to this subsection in its decision to approve or deny an application for change of ownership under this part and part II of chapter 408.
(d) If a claim is pending in arbitration at the time that the application for change of ownership is filed, the claimant may file a petition to enjoin the transfer in circuit court.

As used in this subsection, “claimant” means a resident, the resident’s family, or a personal representative who has notified the licensee or facility of a potential claim by written notice of intent or who has initiated an action, claim, or arbitration proceeding against the licensee or facility.

History.s. 3, ch. 2014-83; s. 4, ch. 2022-61.