Based on the recent case of Brevard County School Board v. Acosta, it appears that the Hindrance to Recovery Doctrine is not affected by the Major Contributing Cause standard.  In this case, the claimant needed both a surgery to the right shoulder which was work related and a surgery to the left shoulder which was…

We recently obtained a ruling that a request for a one time change of physician contained in a four page Grievance Letter was not clear and unequivocal. The claimant’s attorney argued that the four page Grievance Letter faxed to the carrier was sufficient notice of the request for a one time change, and because the…

When is Employer/Carrier/Servicing Agent responsible for an attorney fee for a “medical-only” petition for benefits? The recent opinion issued in the First District Court of Appeal case of Jones v. Shadow Trailers, Inc./USIS, (March 18, 2014) holds that for accident dates after July 1, 2002, no attorney fee shall attach until 30 days after the…

The First District Court of Appeal just issued an opinion in the case of Sarasota County School Board/Optacomp v. Roberson, (April 16, 2014 Case No. 1D13-4087) holding that the Judge of Compensation Claims is not limited to only considering physical limitations. The JCC in that case found the claimant PTD, and the Employer/Carrier appealed arguing…

Obviously, the answer is there is no way to predict an outcome from the Oral argument in Westphal and the questions asked during the Oral Argument.  In my opinion, two likely scenarios can occur.  First, like in Murray, the Florida Supreme Court can try to reach a conclusion without addressing the constitutionality of the statute. …

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