Archive by Month: December 2021

Maximum Workers’ Compensation Rate, Effective January 1, 2022

Posted in Legal Alerts on December 29, 2021

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has announced the statewide maximum weekly compensation rate for work-related injuries and illnesses occurring on or after January 1, 2022, shall be $1,099.00.

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Uncovering Fraud in Workers' Compensation Claims

Posted in Legal Alerts on December 21, 2021

Workers’ compensation fraud remains a serious problem in Florida. When employees wrongly file fraudulent claims, it raises the cost of doing business for employers, who must then pay higher premiums. In turn, this affects employees who may get lower wages. Although state law aims to prevent workers’ compensation fraud and imposes stiff penalties on alleged fraudsters, it is not always a successful deterrent. There are hundreds of investigations each year in Florida, and many of them result in prosecutions. 

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MRI Associates: “a schedule of maximum charges establishes a ceiling but not a floor”

Posted in Legal Alerts on December 9, 2021

This morning, the Florida Supreme Court issued its long-awaited ruling in MRI Associates of Tampa v. State Farm  No. SC18-1390.  On appeal from The Second District Court of Appeal, the Court accepted jurisdiction in this matter to determine whether State Farm’s policy of insurance properly elected of the schedule of maximum charges. The Court agreed with the Second, finding the PIP policy permitted the insurer to utilize the schedule of maximum charges even though the policy refers to other statutory factors used to determine reasonableness.

 

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Insurance Claims for Mass Shooting Events

Posted in Legal Alerts on December 9, 2021

While there is no universal definition of what constitutes a mass shooting, after the Sandy Hook Elementary School murders, Congress defined “mass killings” as those involving “three or more killings in a single incident.” The FBI uses the term “mass murder” and defines it as an event where four or more individuals are killed in a single incident, but the FBI does not have a formal definition for mass shooting. The terminology and definitions matter because they can affect the type of insurance coverage that applies, as well as trigger exclusions.

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First Party Defense Verdict Obtained in a Hurricane Michael Trial

Posted in Verdicts and Settlements on December 2, 2021

Michael Bonfanti and Joshua Canton, partners in the firm’s Tallahassee office, and their associate Taylor Hansford obtained a defense verdict in a Hurricane Michael first party property case tried over three days in Bay County, Florida.  The Plaintiffs argued at trial that their home was a total loss due to structural damage to the pilings by the hurricane. The Defendant argued that the home had no structural damage, was repairable, and that the Defendant had already paid its insureds the reasonable costs to repair the home prior to litigation. The jury awarded $0.00 for repair of the home. The Plaintiffs also failed to secure a verdict above the expired exclusive Proposals for Settlement served upon each Plaintiff, thus entitling the Defendant to recover its attorney’s fees.  

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