December 2009


I usually do not post decisions from the lower JCC courts, but this subject has come up a lot from concerned adjusters.  Many Carriers are finding that doctors–particularly pain management doctors–are not just prescribing medication but also dispensing it to Claimants.  All of these doctors are dispensing the drugs through a third party, a mail order company, who in turn charges exorbitant rates to the Carrier. 

The problem these Carriers face is section 440.13(3)(j) which details very strict language that an “injured employee shall be entitled, at all times, to free, full, and absolute choice in the selection of the pharmacy or a pharmacist dispensing and filling prescriptions for medicines under [Chapter 440].” 

So, under the situation I just described, is the doctor (or mail order Rx company) a pharmacy? (more…)

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This is a simple question, but one that popped up the other day from one of my clients:

If a contractor is deemed to be the statutory employer of an injured worker, does that contractor receive all of the immunities and protections of an actual employer? (more…)

With the release of the recent Parodi decision, I lamented the risk E/C’s take when they deny claims, specifically medical claims.  With Parodi, a Claimant can just obtain an treatments from an unauthorized physician, and if the treatment is proven to be compensable and medically necessary, then the opinions of the unauthorized physician can be admitted into evidence.  In essence the Court is deeming the doctor authorized based on the JCC’s ruling of compensability and medical necessity.

A truly gut wrenching opinion for E/C’s.  .  . until now. (more…)

Section 440.34(3) has gone through a defining phase over the last two years–to coordinate with the rise and fall of Claimant hourly fees.  The First DCA seems to place the E/C’s right to tax costs on the same footing as Claimant’s right to tax costs.  However, some of the lower courts have not embraced this quite yet.  Hence, the Court’s most recent decision mandating JCC’s to treat an E/C’s Motion to Tax Costs the same as Claimant’s Verified Fee Petition.

In the eyes of the First DCA, the procedure in taxing costs should be the same for both parties.

(more…)