Category: legal-alerts

Hundreds of Claims-Adjusting Firms Newly Licensed in Florida in Wake of Senate Bill 1598

Posted in Legal Alerts on January 14, 2022

Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed a series of bills into law that reform the property and casualty insurance industry in Florida. There was a widespread recognition that property insurance litigation and other insurance costs were spiraling out of control. Both policyholders and insurance companies were being harmed by the intermediaries that were enriching themselves at everyone’s expense with questionable tactics. In the wake of one of these new laws, Senate Bill 1598, over 400 public adjuster firms have registered with the state.

 

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Supreme Court amends appellate rules to permit immediate appeals from punitive damage orders

Posted in Legal Alerts, Newsletters - 2022 on January 6, 2022

Today, the Florida Supreme Court issued a new rule permitting immediate appeals from trial court orders granting or denying motions for leave to amend to add a punitive damage claim.  Until now, only orders permitting punitive damage claims were appealable, but only if the trial court did not follow the statutory procedure requiring that motions for leave to amend be supported by an evidentiary proffer and proposed amended Complaint.  In other words, the appellate courts could not review the merits of the motion for leave to amend, but could only determine whether the procedural requirements were met.  As of today, the appellate courts may review the merits of any proposed punitive damage amendment, along with any procedural irregularities.

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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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