On Wednesday A Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge declared Florida’s Workers’ Comp law unconstitutional.
In his order, Judge Jorge Cueto ruled existing workers’ compensation laws so flawed that the act as a whole fails to provide sufficient medical or financial care to replace lost wages. He noted the periodic amendments over the years decreased medical care and wage-loss benefits to the point where Florida’s injured workers have been deprived of their “fundamental” rights.
One of our Senior Equity Partners, H. George Kagan, was asked to comment on the news–
Lawyers for workers have challenged the statute many times in recent years to circumvent the authority of state lawmakers, who have been generally unreceptive to the complaints of workers. “This is a kind of finger on the scale,” Kagan said. “This is really not the way to do things.”
As a practical matter, Kagan said, Cueto’s ruling won’t immediately reverberate outside of Miami-Dade’s judicial circuit, where injured workers may — and probably will — appeal if they receive an adverse ruling from a judge in a workers’ compensation claims case.
The current statute, Kagan added, is … flawed… but … protects the majority of injured workers most of the time. “We do not seek perfect justice in each case,” he said. “We know that some workers are very under-compensated, but the vast majority are adequately compensated, and it won’t be years waiting for a jury to decide if there is a perfect remedy.”
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