December 4, 2014
Today, the Florida Supreme Court issued an order in one of the three workers' compensation challenges before it. In summary, the Court ruled that the law's mechanism of exclusive remedy when injured workers settle their workers' compensation cases bars their further recovery in tort actions against their employer.
Rayford Taylor, counsel for AIF's Workers' Compensation Coalition summarizes the opinion as, "It answered all the 11th Circuit's questions in the affirmative. The net result is the Morales Estate did have standing to sue, but could not collect the judgment from Zenith based on the express terms of Part B of the workers' compensation insurance policy. In addition, Zenith had the ability to enforce the settlement agreement which was essentially an election of remedies defense, so the Estate could not collect on that basis either."
"Overall, this is an extremely favorable opinion with some statements about WC law that may be useful in some of these other challenges."
AIF lead the charge of alerting the business community to this important case and filing an amicus brief that urged the outcome received today by the Florida Supreme Court. A copy of the opinion can be found below.