Losing side in worker’s comp case appeals to U.S. Supreme Court

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

An injured South Florida nurse who unsuccessfully challenged the state’s workers’ compensation system now wants the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case.

Daniel Stahl filed his petition Tuesday, court dockets show. The request has not yet been acted on.

In April, the Florida Supreme Court decided not to consider Stahl’s case.

After hearing arguments in Stahl v. Hialeah Hospital, all seven justices agreed to “exercise our discretion and discharge jurisdiction,” the court’s one paragraph opinion said. “Accordingly, we dismiss review.”

Its inaction leaves intact a 1st District Court of Appeal ruling that “declared certain provisions of state workers’ compensation law to be valid.”

Workers’ comp, as it is commonly called, is “a state-mandated insurance program that provides compensation to employees who suffer job-related injuries and illnesses,” according to the Nolo legal website.

Opponents of Florida’s workers’ comp regime have long hammered the changes put in place by Gov. Jeb Bush and the Legislature in 2003, saying they were draconian and favored employers at the cost of injured employees.

Stahl hurt his back as a nurse that same year, with his injury limiting his physical activities so much it effectively ended his career.

He sued, saying his worker’s compensation benefits were “inadequate” under the 2003 overhaul.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.