Yesterday, a Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge issued a summary judgment that the Florida workers’ compensation system is unconstitutional.
The case, filed by workers’ comp advocates, argued that the workers’ comp system should no longer be the sole remedy for an injured employee because benefits have been eroded over time by the Florida Legislature. This means that injured employees could sue employers to receive additional benefits or damages above and beyond what is provided by the workers’ comp system.
Breaking It Down
According to Florida Chamber legal experts, this case does not have a bearing over the entire state. Attorney General Pam Bondi, as well as other legal experts, are reviewing the case to determine next steps in the Circuit Court ruling.
It’s very unusual for a circuit court judge to rule on the constitutionality of an issue. Furthermore, the workers’ comp system has been a well-established system, since the 1960’s, as being the exclusive remedy in a work-related injury.
Thanks to the Florida Chamber’s pro-business advocacy, the Florida Legislature has been committed to ensuring that employees receive the necessary care and get back to work quickly, while still ensuring costs remain competitive. Our work to make Florida’s business climate more competitive continues.
The Florida Chamber has filed three amicus briefs on behalf of the state’s business community in separate workers’ comp cases challenging the constitutionality of the system before the Florida Supreme Court. These cases challenge the 1) gap between temporary and total permanent disability, 2) whether bad faith applies in workers’ comp, and 3) the legality of attorneys’ fee caps.
What It All Means:
A ruling on any of these three cases would likely supersede the Miami-Dade Circuit Court decision.
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