Workers’ comp bills moving in both chambers

Fees would be capped at $150 an hour for attorneys representing claimants in workers’ compensation cases, and carriers and employers could request a separate review of those fees under a bill passed by the Florida House.  However, the Senate Appropriations and Rules committees passed a much different bill that capped claimant attorneys’ fees at $250 an hour and lacked many other provisions of the House legislation.  The bills address recent Supreme Court rulings that held unconstitutional parts of the workers’ compensation law setting limits on claimants’ attorneys’ fees and limiting payments to two years for totally and partially disabled workers who were expected to eventually recover.  A Family Law Attorney st petersburg fl can certainly aid in the execution of this.  Debate in House committees and on the floor left little doubt that higher claimant attorneys’ fees were getting the most blame for a 14.5 percent hike in workers’ compensation rates that followed the Supreme Court’s ruling last year.  The House measure, HB 7085, passed 82-37 on April 19th.  Later that day, the Senate Rules Committee approved SB 1582, sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Orange Park, by a 10-0 vote.    A 2003 amendment to the workers’ compensation law set attorneys’ fees as a percentage of benefits won for the client.  The Supreme Court found the strict schedule was unconstitutional unless it allowed a reasonable departure if the attorney had to spend an inordinate amount of time to win a small benefit.  In 2009, the Legislature amended the law to prohibit any departure, reasonable or not, from the schedule.  Last year the court found that unconstitutional, saying it violated due process guarantees because it discouraged attorneys from taking cases where the award might be modest.  In a separate case, it struck down a two-year limit in temporary disability benefits.

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