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Florida Reverses Bad TTD Decision Saving Employers $65,000,000

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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.

Picture Of Man Florida Reverses Bad TTD Decision With Heads In Hands At Desk
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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.

Man Thinking Florida Reverses Bad TTD Decision With Grey Background
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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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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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