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Key Votes

Amdt 677495 - Amendments to Attorney Fee Cap in Workers Compensation Lawsuits - Key Vote

Florida Key Votes

Jennifer Carroll voted Nay (Amendment Vote) on this Amendment.

Read statements Jennifer Carroll made in this general time period.

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Amendment - Amendment Rejected (House) (45-69) - (Key vote)

Title: Amendments to Attorney Fee Cap in Workers Compensation Lawsuits

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to adopt an amendment to HB 903 that substitutes the entire text of the bill and replaces the existing attorney fee schedule for workers' compensation lawsuits with a new schedule with additional provisions related to costs incurred by employers and insurance carriers.

Highlights:
- Eliminates the ability of a judge of compensation claims to approve attorney fees in workers' compensation lawsuits outside of the contingency fee schedule as long as the judge determines the fee to be "reasonable," and requires all attorney fees be awarded according to the contingency fee schedule specified below (Sec. 3). - Replaces the existing contingency fee schedule as follows (Sec. 3):
    - Existing law:
      - 20 percent of the first $5,000 of the amount of benefits secured; - 15 percent of the next $5,000 of the amount of benefits secured; - 10 percent of the remaining amount of the benefits secured to be provided during the first 10 years after the date the claim is filed; and - 5 percent of the amount of the benefits secured after 10 years;
    - New law, with one exemption specified below:
      - 25 percent of the first $5,000 of the amount of benefits secured; - 20 percent of the next $5,000 of the amount of benefits secured; and - 15 percent of the remaining amount of the benefits secured.
- Prohibits judges from awarding attorney fees that are less than the fees paid by the employer or insurance carrier to their attorneys to defend against the claim, regardless of whether this results in an attorney fee outside of the contingency fee schedule specified above (Sec. 3). - Prohibits insurance carriers from recouping the losses incurred as a result of paying a claimant's attorney fees, directly or indirectly, by increasing their premium rates (Sec. 3). - Specifies that while the claimant is responsible for the payment of attorney fees, the claimant is also entitled to recover an attorney's fee from the insurance carrier or employer if the claimant prevails in a lawsuit for the enforcement of workers' compensation orders or a modification thereof, or if the insurance carrier or employer furnishes benefits claimed in a petition for benefits more than 30 days after the carrier or employer, if self-insured, receives the petition (Sec. 3). - Eliminates the exemption authorizing judges to approve an alternative attorney's fee not to exceed $1,500 per accident, based on a maximum hourly rate of $150 per hour, if the lawsuits is related only to medical benefits and the claimant has not filed for or is not entitled to a claim for disability, permanent impairment, wage-loss, or death benefits, and the judge determines that the attorney fee schedule listed above does not fairly compensate the attorney and circumstances of the particular case warrant such action (Sec. 3).
Amendment - Introduced (House) -

Title: Amendments to Attorney Fee Cap in Workers Compensation Lawsuits

Sponsors

  • Juan-Carlos 'J.C.' Planas (FL - R) (Out Of Office)
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