Florida Chamber and Florida Justice Reform Institute File Amicus Brief in Important Workers’ Compensation Case

By: Carolyn Johnson

Today, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Florida Justice Reform Institute filed an amicus curiae brief, or friend of the court brief, in support of Hialeah Hospital in Stahl v. Hialeah Hospital — a workers’ compensation case that seeks to make the workers’ comp system, in its entirety, unconstitutional.

Workers’ comp is essential for Florida employers, employees and families because it provides the health care necessary to help an injured employee return to work while also protecting job creators from costly litigation.

The jointly filed amicus brief maintains:

  • Stahl does not have standing, or has not proven that changes to the workers’ comp statute have adversely affected him, and
  • The case did not follow the proper judicial procedure for the Florida Supreme Court to determine if the statute is unconstitutional.

“As the leading advocate fighting to keep Florida’s workers’ comp system functioning, fair and affordable, we are concerned that the potential impact of this case could threaten Florida’s improving business climate,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “This is another example of Florida’s billboard trial lawyers trying to dismantle a working system by doing what they do best – suing someone.”

Plaintiff attorney maneuvers like we’re seeing with workers’ comp are reflective of a larger legal abuse problem in Florida. In fact, a national survey shows Florida’s lawsuit climate worsening – ranking at an all-time low 44 out of 50 states, the bottom 10. That’s important because 75 percent of companies surveyed say a state’s lawsuit environment is likely to impact important business decisions at their company, such as where to locate or expand.

The Florida Chamber remains laser focused on ensuring workers’ comp rates are fair, and remain committed to ensuring the voices of job creators throughout Florida are heard before lawmakers in the halls of justice. Ensuring injured workers receive quality care and due process is also a priority.

“To secure Florida’s future, we must keep Florida’s workers’ comp system working,” Hart added.

For more than 10 years, the Florida Chamber has led efforts to help lowers workers’ comp rates by almost 60 percent.

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If you would like more information, contact cjohnson@flchamber.com.