Calling the State Supreme Court’s potentially job-thwarting ruling on workers’ compensation fees a threat to Florida business, the Florida Chamber of Commerce came out with strong disapproval of the decision handed down recently in Tallahassee.
In the case of Castellanos v. Next Door Company the court ruled that the existing provision for providing attorney fees in workers’ comp cases is unconstitutional. Florida Chamber has filed an Amicus Brief in the case as a non-involved entity with a definitive stake in the outcome.
“As Florida’s leading advocate fighting to keep workers’ comp working, the potential impact of the high court’s ruling could threaten Florida’s improving business climate,” Mark Wilson, Chamber CEO and president, said. “The Florida Chamber remains laser focused on ensuring workers’ comp rates are fair, and we will lead the effort before lawmakers and in the halls of justice to ensure the voices of job creators are heard.”
With the outcome, workers’ comp rates could skyrocket despite steady decline in recent years. Following the pivotal decision, Florida’s designated ratemaking agency, National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) is expected to examine the forecasted impact on Florida businesses.
“[We] have created a short-term task force that has already begun the process of preparing for a legislative response and remedy should the court decide against the legislature and small businesses,” Wilson wrote in a letter to Gov. Rick Scott, Senate President Andy Gardiner and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli.
Based in Boca Raton, NCCI calibrates rates for attorneys and manages the nation’s largest database of workers comp insurance information, studying workplace injuries and other factors impacting insurance trends. In addition to Florida, over 30 other states rely on NCCI for ratings and statistical input.