TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, the Florida Supreme Court issued opinions in two cases with a potential impact on workers’ compensation insurance rates. In Castellanos v. Next Door Company, the Florida Supreme Court declared the statutory mandatory attorney fee schedule unconstitutional as a violation of due process under both the Florida and United States Constitutions. Until the legislature addresses this decision, attorney fees will be evaluated under the “reasonable” award standard articulated in the Murray v. Mariner Health decision.
The impact on Florida’s workers’ compensation system is unclear at this time. The Office will be working with the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), which files rates on behalf of Florida’s workers’ compensation insurers, and other stakeholders, to assess the impact of these decisions.
“Our Office remains dedicated to putting Florida’s businesses and injured workers first. We have worked proactively over the years to bring workers’ compensation rates down for Florida’s employers. Limiting attorney’s fees has been an important factor in reducing workers’ compensation rates. A legislative remedy will be required to prevent significant increases in rates and we look forward to working with all parties affected to bring about a sensible solution,” stated Florida Insurance Commissioner, Kevin M. McCarty.