April 2010


Will the debate over the change in doctor provision ever end?  I bet the First DCA wishes it would.  We have yet another decision regarding this seemingly plain written statute.  This time, the case involves the question of a Claimant who requests a change in doctors, never chooses the change, and then voluntarily attends the E/C’s choice of doctors.

The question this time is: Does Claimant have an absolute right to choose his change in doctors? (more…)

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While this is a first impression case, I believe most practitioners believed this to be true.  However, whether the JCC can consider a once authorized physician’s opinion does fall into the proverbial statutory gray area of section 440.13.

The key lesson to take from this ruling is that the Court preserves the Legislature’s desire to prevent “doctor shopping.” (more…)

During the course of my career I’ve heard many of Claimant attorneys argue that their client’s future bonus or potential eligibility for health insurance must be included in the average weekly wage (AWW) calculation.  Many times I counter, “no it does not.”  Case law states otherwise and now the First DCA confirms that rule.

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The New York Times has an interesting piece on the growing litigation of former NFL players suing for Workers’ Compensation benefits in California as a means to increase their benefits for the alleged effects the sport has on their diagnosed dementia.  While I will not assume I have knowledge of California law, I would like to explore the possibilities of this occurring in the State of Florida.

Considering Florida has three NFL teams, one as old as 1966, there is a significant pool of potential Claimants this can affect.  First, we have to remember that professional athletes are excluded from the Workers’ Compensation Act, if they are performing their “athletic duties.”  A professional athlete can receive benefits if they are working in a non-athletic capacity, like at a team press conference.

But, there are professional sports teams in Florida who do decide to voluntary carry Workers’ Comp coverage.  If any one of our three NFL teams does do that, then this analysis would apply. (more…)