|Today's post is shared from insurancejournal.com/|
The Florida Supreme Court is considering whether to declare the state’s workers’ compensation attorney fee schedule unconstitutional.
The court recently heard oral arguments in a case (Castellanos v. Next Door Company, SC13-2082) addressing the attorney fee schedule passed in 2003 as part of a comprehensive rewrite of the state’s workers’ compensation law.
The attorney fee schedule was designed in part to end the practice of attorneys filing multiple benefit claims on a single case in order drive up their hourly fees. Proponents of the fee reform argued that a high rate of attorney involvement was one of the main reasons Florida’s workers’ compensation rates then were among the highest of the nation.
Since then, rates have dropped by more than 50 percent including a statewide average 5.2 percent decrease scheduled to take effect January 1, 2015.
The case before the court involves Marvin Castellanos who was injured in an altercation with another employee in 2009.
At the time, Castellanos’ employer and its insurer, Amerisure Insurance, paid for Castellanos to see a doctor. However, the employer/carrier subsequently denied his claim for additional medical treatment that included three physical therapy visits for two weeks.
Castellanos then hired an attorney who prevailed in the case and won him additional benefits in the amount of $822.70.
Based on the state’s statutory fee schedule, Castellanos’ attorney was awarded...