Florida Reverses Bad TTD Decision
The State of Florida reverses bad TTD decision saving employers $65,000,000 in Workers Comp payouts.
Florida had previously declared the 104 week cap on Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits as unconstitutional. I had even held it up as an example of how a Workers Comp state system can be permanently ruined by such a decision. My earlier article explaining the results if the decision was not corrected can be found here. Nebraska also made a similar decision earlier this year.
The only chance for the awful decision to be overturned was by appealing the decision to a higher court. The 1st District Court of Appeals sitting en banc decided to reverse the earlier panel decision.
The Westphal decision would have cost Florida employers $65 million in additional premiums according to an estimate earlier this year by NCCI. That was a conservative estimate.
One has to remember that insurance carriers have underwritten their insureds based on the current law at the time. Decisions such as this will normally harm a system as carriers have to offset the increases they have to incur by passing it along to employers with higher premiums and cutting the numbers of policies to employers such as trucking or employment agencies.
A great layperson’s attorney viewpoint analysis of the case is here. One of the terms that I find unusual in court decisions is “social legislation” or legislating from the bench. In 1994, North Carolina medical cases going back to 1933 could have been reopened at will due to this type of decision. Many of the large carriers considered pulling out of the state.
Underwriters for insurance carriers have a very difficult task when trying to offset such decisions. The result of this type of decision is the toll ends up being paid by the employer. Congrats to Florida for seeing the light.
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