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workers compensation

Workers’ comp rates could decrease in 2018

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Florida businesses could see workers’ compensation insurance premiums decrease in 2018, after a tumultuous period that included a double-digit rate hike late last year and a lobbying battle about whether to revamp workers’ compensation laws.

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Workers’ comp judge ordered to reconsider $20K attorney fee agreement

in Statewide by

A state appeals court criticized a judge of compensation claims for denying a $20,000 attorney fee award because of unsubstantiated claims that the parties had colluded. The 1st District Court of Appeal ordered Judge John Lazzara of Tallahassee to conduct a proper evidentiary hearing in the matter. “Given the JCC’s failure to provide the parties with proper notice and the opportunity to be heard on the issues that the JCC found determinative in his ruling, we find the JCC violated…

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Small business wants special session to take up workers’ compensation reform

in 2017 by

Proponents of a workers’ compensation fix would want the matter debated during next week’s special session of the Legislature. The National Federation of Independent Business was the first to issue a public call to that end. Florida director Bill Herrle released a letter to Gov. Rick Scott and legislative leaders, arguing, “Florida’s economic growth cannot wait until 2018.” The House and Senate debated, but could not agree, on how to prevent repeat of the 14.5 percent increase in workers’ compensation…

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State appeals court upholds 14.5 percent workers’ comp premium increase

in Apolitical/Statewide by

A state appeals court has upheld a 14.5 percent increase in workers’ compensation insurance premiums, rejecting legal arguments that it was approved in violation of Florida’s open-government laws. “This argument ignores the plain language of the statute and the ordinary meaning of the terms within it,” a three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee ruled Tuesday. “Accordingly, we reverse the trial court’s final order, and remand for reinstatement of OIR’s final order issued on Oct. 5,…

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House moves toward Senate on must-pass workers’ compensation legislation

in Statewide by

The Senate refused Friday to move toward the House position on workers’ compensation reform, but the House gave ground on how much to pay attorneys handling claims appeals. Senate bill sponsor Rob Bradley offered an amendment that would have split the difference between the two chambers by paying attorneys as much as $200 per hour, but the Senate chose on a voice vote to retain his original language — $250. The Senate voted, 21-16, to send the bill to the House…

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Insurance bill sponsor insists it won’t become a train for AOB, PIP

in Statewide by

When Lee Jacobson heard that that an insurance omnibus bill had been pulled from the Rules Committee onto the Senate floor Wednesday, he hightailed it to Tallahassee. The Orlando insurance and personal-injury attorney, active in the Florida Justice Association, was watching his daughter play soccer at the time. “I ran home, threw two suits in a bag and grabbed two one-way flights to get here,” Jacobson said Thursday morning. His fear was that the bill — CS/CS/SB 454 — would…

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Amendment would move Senate workers’ comp fix closer to House language

in Statewide by

The sponsor of the Senate workers’ compensation bill has edged toward the House position regarding the maximum attorney fees payable in claims litigation. Sen. Rob Bradley filed an amendment to his bill Wednesday trimming the maximum hourly fee to $200 — down from $250 in his original bill, but more than the $150 contemplated in the House. The amendment also would require the Department of Financial Services to engage an independent consultant to study the system for reimbursing medical providers…

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