Court Rules In Favor of Job Creators/Against Trial Lawyers

The Third District Court of Appeals today ruled against trial lawyers, and in favor of the Florida Chamber and the state’s business community in a case that will help keep workers’ comp rates fair.

In a closely-watched case, Florida v. Florida Workers Advocates (also called the Padgett case), trial lawyers questioned the constitutionality of Florida’s entire workers’ comp system – claiming that the Florida Legislature has eroded workers’ comp benefits so severely that it should not be an exclusive remedy. In its ruling against the trial lawyers, the court found that Florida Workers Advocates did not have standing, nor was the case “moot.”

The Florida Chamber, in conjunction with our partners at the Florida Justice Reform Institute, filed an Amicus Brief on behalf of Florida’s business community, pointing out that the workers’ comp system should be the sole remedy if a worker is injured.

Ensuring Florida’s workers’ comp system is fair and not inflated by trial lawyer tactics and other unnecessary costs will help lower the cost of doing business in Florida. That’s why the Florida Chamber led the effort to help lower workers’ comp rates by more than 50 percent in the last 10 years.

What’s Next?

If this case is appealed, its next stop would be the Florida Supreme Court. In addition to this case, the Florida Supreme Court has already held oral arguments on two additional workers’ comp cases:

  • Castellanos v. Next Door Company, and
  • Westphal v. City of St Petersburg.

All three cases represent trial lawyers attempting to erode Florida’s workers comp system – an effort that could significantly increase workers’ comp rates.

Join Our Team

The Florida Chamber is committed to defending Florida’s business community against costly trial lawyer tactics and keeping workers’ comp rates low. Add your voice to the growing team of business advocates at the Florida Chamber by emailing cjohnson@flchamber.com.