November Case Law Review

In our November Case Law Update, we review the following:

Anderson v. North Port Services of Florida

Case No. 1D14-2255 (Fla. 1st DCA 10/29/2014)

Unrepresented Claimant appealed Final Order from JCC concluding she has fully and finally settled her workers’ compensation claim stemming from a 6/30/2012 accident. JCC concluded that Claimant failed to raise or establish a legally cognizable basis for avoiding the terms of the settlement. After receiving Claimant’s Amended Initial Brief, the Court entered an Order advising that the appeal is being considered for summary affirmance under Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.315(a).

Hancock v. Suwannee County School Board

Case No. D14-0954 (Fla. 1st DCA 10/31/2014)

            In the morning of Employer/Carrier’s IME, Claimant’s Counsel for the first time advised the doctor that a videographer would be present for the exam. The doctor then declined to conduct the IME in the presence of a videographer without an additional advance payment of $1,500. The request for the advance was not resolved prior to the IME and Claimant appeared with her videographer at the exam, only to then be turned away by the doctor as he refused to perform the IME without payment of the advance, and subsequently billed the Employer/Carrier a $600 cancellation fee/no-show fee for the missed examination.

            In the Order on Employer/Carrier’s Motion to Tax Costs, the JCC ordered Claimant to pay ½ of the physician’s cancellation fee as he found Claimant’s declaration of her intention to videotape the IME to be untimely. At the same time, JCC also held he had no jurisdiction to address the reasonable of the doctor’s request for the $1,500 advance and Claimant had no standing to challenge this charge. Nonetheless, JCC advised Claimant shall be responsible for the payment of any additional fees assessed by the Employer/Carrier’s IME physician due to her request for the videographer to be present for the exam. Claimant then filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari.

Lane v. Workforce Business Services, Inc.

Case No. 1D14-0959 (Fla. 1st DCA 11/12/2014)

An MKRS Law Case

            The Employer/Carrier denied the compensability of Claimant’s accident. On the eve of the Final Hearing, the parties entered into a Stipulation Agreement whereby the Employer/Carrier accepted compensability of this claim for benefits and stipulated to Claimant’s attorney’s entitlement to fees and costs related to the securing of benefits. Claimant’s attorney also sought entitlement to additional fees pursuant to F.S. 57.105 and the parties reserved jurisdiction for the JCC to determine his entitlement to such a fee.

            The JCC then entered an Order denying Claimant’s request for an additional attorney fee under F.S. 57.105 as she concluded such fees are not awardable in workers’ compensation proceedings. The JCC also denied Claimant’s request for costs as it pertained to his seeking the reimbursement for the expense of videotaping the depositions of two witnesses as the JCC held there was no showing that the witnesses would be unavailable to attend the Final Hearing requiring the videotaping of their depositions and noted there was an intention to utilize the video depositions in a separate civil proceeding. Claimant subsequently appealed the JCC’s Order.

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