What’s so temporary about 5 years?
Never underestimate the creative thinking from the plaintiff’s bar. While you may not have heard of a decision by the Florida 1st District Court of Appeal styled Bradley Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg, my bet is it will be coming soon to a jurisdiction near you.
At the risk of oversimplifying several complex issues, here’s the short version. About 20 years ago Florida reduced their TTD benefit time limit from 260 weeks to 104 weeks. Mr. Westphal’s attorneys have successfully argued that the 104 week cap “was unconstitutional because it left injured workers without recourse if their benefits ran out before being declared eligible for permanent total disability benefits.” As reported by Sheena Harrison in Business Insurance, the court granted Mr. Westphal the 260 weeks that was in effect 20 years ago. The NCCI estimates if this ruling stands, it will cost Florida employers an additional $65 million per year.
Will the plaintiff’s bar use arguments like these to roll back comp reform in other jurisdictions? Time will tell.
What remains critical, in almost every lost time case, are the fundamentals we practice daily that help your claimants reach MMI and RTW as soon as practical. These are:
The right care with the right provider.
The right treatment plans as supported by the science.
Minimizing the extent and duration of poly pharmacy and narcotics.
Nothing solves a TTD cap like getting back to work.
Call Us. We can do better.
Posted in OMCA