This is a doozy.  For as favorable as the First DCA has been towards E/C’s and the Statute of Limitations, this ruling is as unfavorable.  While I agree with the premise of having the Workers’ Compensation system be a “self-executing” one (that is, the E/C has the burden to provide benefits to Claimants), I disagree applying the reasoning to this specific fact pattern.

Anyway, shall we analyze Gauthier v Florida International University? (more…)

The Statute of Limitations is the one disputed area of Workers’ Comp law that never gets old.  At least the First DCA thinks so.  Over the past few years the Court has been proactive in fine tuning section 440.19.  My own experience is evidence to that. 

Now comes a new wrinkle that adjusters must be aware of.

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Considering the results of my first appeal were less than celebratory, I am happy to write my second appeal. . . and first win!  You can view the case, MedPartners/SRS v. Zenith here.

The issue was a contribution claim between two Carriers with the same Employer spanning two dates of accidents.  I represented the Carrier of the first accident (Carrier #1).  The Carrier of the second accident (Carrier #2) sued us for contribution, claiming that all of the medical care for the second accident was wholly related to the first accident. 

My defense was the Statute of Limitations; that it ran against Claimant and therefore prevented Carrier #2 from seeking contribution against Carrier #1. 

(More after the jump.) (more…)

One of the most formulaic but deceptively “easy” parts in Workers’ Compensation law is the statute of limitations provision, section 440.19.  The statute of limitations is a provision that terminates an employee’s right to claim benefits or sue for compensation and damages unless the person meets certain conditions.  In essence, an employee must file a lawsuit (or Petition for Benefits) before the time expires or their right to claim benefits ends forever.  It is designed to give employers a reasonable time expectation as to how long an employee is entitled to receive benefits.  No employer likes waiting forever to see if a claim is still open.  However, the exceptions to this provision are based on an employee’s knowledge of his obligation under the provision.  The best advice for an employer is to provide information and documentation to the employee, and I offer a few tips.

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