Florida Supreme Court Workers’ Comp Decision Favorable for Business

By: Florida Chamber of Commerce

Florida Chamber Reports Win for Businesses in Worker’s Comp Case

In a unanimous decision, the Florida Supreme Court this morning issued an opinion in the Morales v. Zenith Insurance Company case that upheld the workers’ compensation system as the exclusive remedy for injured parties. A separate tort case had been filed by the claimant’s estate seeking additional damages, which the Court rejected.

What does this mean for Florida’s businesses? The Florida workers’ compensation system remains intact and is the only means for injured employees to collect damages from an employment related injury.

Because workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy, the Supreme Court ruled that the workers’ compensation exclusion bars coverage of the estate’s tort judgment under the employer liability policy and the claimant could not collect the tort judgment from the workers’ compensation insurer.

This decision is the first of three cases before the Florida Supreme Court, which include Castellanos v. Next Door Company, and Westphal v. St. Petersburg. The Florida Chamber of Commerce filed amicus curiae briefs along with the Florida Justice Reform Institute on these cases to advocate on behalf of the business community and decisions that won’t cause rates to be inflated by extraneous lawsuits. We will keep you up to date on the progress of these cases.