Gordon & Doner applauds the ruling of the Florida Supreme Court to repeal a 2003 law that inhibited attorneys from representing an injured worker and was a violation of due process.
Gordon & Doner supports the April 28th, 2016 decision by the Florida Supreme Court that found a 2003 law (Section 440.34) unconstitutional under both the Florida and United States Constitutions as a violation of due process.
The 5 to 2 decision by the court will alleviate the impediment created because of the fee system imposed by Gov. Jeb Bush in 2003. The law was a high priority for Bush, who made it part of a special legislative session. He said at the time that the rising cost of workers’ compensation insurance was making it unaffordable and in some cases unavailable. The fee limits were based upon a percentage of the amount of money won in a claim, so if an injured worker had a $3,000 claim, the attorney would receive no more than $600.
Even though the $3,000 claim would be important to a $10 an hour worker struggling to make ends meet, the $600 attorney fee could equate to $6 an hour or less, depending upon the number of hours an attorney had to work on a case.
The case that precipitated the Florida Supreme Court ruling was Castellanos v. Next Door Company. The case involved a man who successfully sued a Miami door manufacturer over an on-the-job injury. His lawyer was paid $164.54 for more than 100 hours of work or less than $1.64 an hour.
In its ruling, the court said the fee limits are unconstitutional because they resulted in a system where people can’t find lawyers to represent them at the imposed fee limit rates. It has also been ascertained that the law led to insurance companies denying legitimate claims knowing that injured workers wouldn’t be able to fight the decision, since they would not be able to find an attorney to take the case for such a potentially low fee.
The office of Florida Governor Rick Scott is reviewing the decision by the court.
The law offices of Gordon & Doner urge any injured Florida worker to seek legal counsel, especially if they have been denied any benefits to which they were entitled due to a work related injury.
About Gordon & Doner, P.A.
Gordon & Doner is a law firm with locations in Broward, Martin, and Palm Beach counties. The firm has 15 attorneys with over 180 combined years of experience in personal injury and litigation ready to assist anyone with their case. Their team of highly skilled attorneys has obtained millions of dollars in results for their clients and can help fight for maximum compensation.
At the law offices of Gordon & Doner, they represent the people, not the powerful. Their firm is dedicated to representing and fighting for the rights of the injured.
Gordon & Doner does not represent or defend insurance companies.