Recently, the Florida Supreme Court issued opinions in two cases with a potential impact on workers compensation insurance rates.
In Castellanos v. Next Door Company, the Florida Supreme Court declared the statutory mandatory attorney fee schedule unconstitutional as a violation of due process under both the Florida and United States Constitutions. Until the legislature addresses this decision, attorney fees will be evaluated under the “reasonable” award standard articulated in the Murray v. Mariner Health decision.
Additionally, in Stahl v. Hialeah Hospital, the Florida Supreme Court decided not to hear the case and discharged jurisdiction. This means the First District Court of Appeal’s opinion in this matter, which upheld other elements of the workers compensation law, stands.
The impact on Florida’s workers comp system is unclear at this time.
The Office will be working with the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), which files rates on behalf of Florida’s workers comp insurers, and other stakeholders, to assess the impact of these decisions.
“Our Office remains dedicated to putting Florida’s businesses and injured workers first. We have worked proactively over the years to bring workers compensation rates down for Florida’s employers.
Limiting attorney’s fees has been an important factor in reducing workers compensation rates. A legislative remedy will be required to prevent significant increases in rates and we look forward to working with all parties affected to bring about a sensible solution,” stated Florida Insurance Commissioner, Kevin McCarty.
Author Kori Shafer-Stack, Editor, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in post-injury response procedures and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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