A nurse injured his back in December 2003 while working for Hialeah Hospital. The injury occurred two months after a new law in 2003 eliminated the permanent partial disability benefit for injured workers in Florida. The revision to the workers’ comp code meant that workers who suffered a permanent partial disability would no longer receive permanent benefits for their injury.
Under current Florida workers’ comp laws, injured workers with a disability can receive temporary partial disability benefits until a doctor finds the worker has reached maximum medical recovery or for a maximum of 104 weeks. If the worker is totally disabled, he may qualify for disability payments until he reaches the age of 75 years; however, a permanent disability only qualifies for payments for up to 104 weeks from the date of injury.
Mr. Stahl, the nurse who injured his back, filed a civil lawsuit against the hospital alleging the hospital was negligent in causing his injury. He further alleged that the Florida workers’ compensation system is not an adequate exclusive method for his tort action.
Mr. Stahl appealed the decision by Florida’s First District Court of Appeal ruling that the Florida workers’ comp law regarding permanent partial disability benefits was valid. The Florida Supreme Court initially accepted the appeal; however, it later decided not to review the case “after further consideration and hearing oral argument.” The court did not offer any other explanation of their action.
A Request for Review to the U.S. Supreme Court
The attorney for Mr. Stahl has filed a request with the U.S. Supreme Court for a review of Mr. Stahl’s allegation that Florida’s workers’ comp law violates his 14th Amendment rights. Mr. Stahl is alleging that the law regarding permanent partial disability benefits violates his right to seek another legal remedy to seek compensation for his partial loss of future earning capacity from his employer. If the U.S. Supreme Court agrees with Mr. Stahl, this could potentially be a huge win for injured workers throughout Florida.
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Have You Been Injured at Work? Are You Seeking Permanent Partial Disability Benefits?
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, the workers’ comp laws provide a way for you to receive medical treatment for your injuries. The laws also provide for certain financial benefits while you are out of work. In cases of permanent disability, you may be entitled to receive benefits if you are totally disabled. Because total disability benefits are extremely expensive for insurance companies, the insurance companies fight these claims aggressively. You need a Boca Raton workers’ comp attorney to fight for your right to receive all the benefits you are entitled to receive by law.
If you have been injured at work, contact our office for a free consultation with a Boca Raton workers’ comp attorney. The Broderick Law Firm, P.L. can help you obtain the benefits you deserve. Contact our office today 1-800-333-3903 to speak with an attorney. We represent individuals in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale & Miami, FL.
Source: Business Insurance, “Florida workers comp challenge seeks U.S.