September 2008


As we in the Florida Workers’ Comp world breathlessly await the Emma Murray decision, and the Supreme Court’s (likely) liberal interpretation of the attorney fee provision, the First DCA keeps ratcheting up their conservative views of Chapter 440.  (See my previous posts here, here and here.) 

This time, the lower appellate court delivers an opinion that focuses on the principle of major contributing cause, section 440.09, interpreting it through a very narrow prism.

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Wow.  This newest First DCA decision is a doozy, one that alot of us on the defense side have argued-to no avail-for a long time.  That is until now. 

In Fast Track Framing v. Marando Homes, the Court found that if a Claimant is paid cash under the table, and does not report those wages to the IRS as taxable income, the money will not be counted as “wages” and therefore cannot be calculated in Claimant’s average weekly wage (AWW).  The AWW is used to determine how much Claimant is paid in wage loss benefits when she is taken off work.   So, if a Claimant is earning unreported cash, then his AWW is $0.00. 

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This is a great honor by LexisNexis, a premier research site, to have honored my little blog.  It has been my mission to break down some of the most recent legal changes to the Florida Workers Comp system into digestible articles that you can all absorb.  I thank you for your continued support and I hope to keep up the quality content that many of you have come to expect.

Feel free to click on the link below to check out the other 24 national W/C blogs:

Prior to the 10/1/03 changes to the W/C law, an Employer/Carrier could argue a reduction in an hourly fee sought by a Claimant attorney for secured benefits if the E/C resolves the litigation quickly.  In fact, the First DCA once commended a lower court for denying an hourly fee to Claimant’s attorney based on the E/C resolution of the claims against it with very little discovery, beyond the Claimant’s deposition.  The idea being that an E/C should not be penalized for doing the right thing, and reducing the amount of litigation.

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