On February 22, 2019 Freeman Injury Law’s workers compensation attorney, Diana Castrillon presented a “Case Law Update” to the local Bar of attorneys at the 2019 Workers’ Compensation Conference. Only certain attorneys are selected based on skill and experience to carry out this highly anticipated panel presentation. Attorney Castrillon was honored to have been chosen to update a group of their colleagues of the current state of Workers Compensation law in Florida. Ms. Castrillon researched all the latest cases and studied them extensively so that she could educate the local attorneys with regards to any changes in the law.
The cases Ms. Castrillon presented at the Case Law Update involved medical treatment, statute of limitations, pretrial rules, motions to enforce agreements, one-time change in medical providers, payment of temporary disability benefits, payment of advances on compensation, evidence and independent medical examinations.
One important case to recently come out of the 1st District Court of Appeals in Florida, is Myers v. Pasco County School Board, No. 1D17-5457 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018), where an injured worker was seeking a one-time change from her orthopedic surgeon to a new orthopedist. The insurance company provided the injured worker, Myers, with a neur osurgeon instead because that doctor was likely more favorable to the insurance company. Myers attorney filed a claim against the Employer/Carrier arguing that a neurosurgeon is a different medical specialty that an orthopedic and that it was not appropriate to send the injured worker to a different specialty without a referral. At the lower court level, the Judge agreed with the Employer/Carrier and said that the specialty of the physician is close enough that both of these types of doctors can treat similar medical conditions. So the Court said this was substantial compliance with Myer’s request. However, this case was then sent up on appeal and the 1st District Court of Appeals did not agree with the Judge and ordered the Employer/Carrier to provide the injured workers with a new doctor within the same medical specialty as he requested, orthopedics. This case made it clear to the employer and insurance carrier that the rules are being strictly construed and when an injured worker asks for an “orthopedic,” they must be provided with exactly what they request.