January 2010

Attention all Carriers, the First DCA wants your undivided attention.  If you do not respond timely to a Claimant’s request for change in physician, in a specific manner, you will lose your right to choose the change in doctors.

As I wrote earlier, the E/C need not schedule the appointment with a doctor of its choice within 5 days of Claimant’s request for a change.  In Florida Fun Superbike Center v. Hunt, the adjuster simply forwarded a list of psychiatrists and the Court found that is good enough to meet the requirements of  s. 440.13(2)(f)

But, what if the E/C responds within 5 days, doesn’t provide a list or the name of the change? Is that good enough?  According to the First DCA, no it is not. (more…)

During the Christmas holiday week, I missed an attorney fee ruling where the First DCA handed down harsh language regarding excessive and unconscionable Claimant attorney fees.  In particular, the concurring opinion of Chief Judge Paul M. Hawkes hammers the point that attorney fee hearings have become little more than a “ritual of hours and rates that transcends the statutory scheme.”

What Chief Judge Hawkes does is point out the obvious: a JCC is not merely a calculator of fees.  The position is one of a legal analyst and arbiter of what is rational and reasonable. (more…)

One point of W/C law that has become clear in the past few years since I started this blog: the First DCA sees no difference in a Claimant taxing costs and an Employer/Carrier taxing costs.  The Court ruled that the procedure is the same as a Claimant seeking taxable costs and they ruled that Claimant can be considered a “non-prevailing party” subject to cost taxation.

Now comes a new case confirming that there are no time limits for an E/C to file a motion to tax costs against a Claimant. . . at least for now. (more…)

For those adjusting new claims for 2010, the Department of Financial Services announced a new max comp rate for the year: $772.00.

You can read the bulletin here.