Proposal for Settlement Shall State the Amount and Terms Attributable to Each Party
In Willis Shaw Express, Inc. v. Hilyer Sod, Inc., 849 So. 2d 276 (Fla. 2003), the Court held that "under the plain language" of rule 1.442(c)(3), which provides that a joint proposal for settlement "shall state the amount and terms attributable to each party," "an offer from multiple plaintiffs must apportion the offer among the plaintiffs." Id. at 279.
As in Willis Shaw Express, there is no ambiguity in the language of section 768.79(7)(b) that requires a construction different from simply applying the plain language of the statute.
In Gershuny v. Martin McFall Messenger Anesthesia Professional Ass'n, 539 So. 2d 1131, 1132 (Fla. 1989), the Court relied in part on its decision in Finkelstein v. North Broward Hospital District, 484 So. 2d 1241 (Fla. 1986), which applied the principles of strict construction and the implied exclusion of one thing by the mention of another to hold that a nurse could not recover under a fee-shifting statute that authorized an award to the prevailing party in a malpractice action against any physician, podiatrist, hospital, or health maintenance organization.
Unlike the list of specific entities in the statute discussed in Finkelstein, the inclusion of "all other relevant criteria" in section 768.79(7)(b) does not imply the exclusion of a contingency fee multiplier.