A November 23, 2016 Order from Circuit Court Judge Karen Gievers voided the double digit workers’ compensation rate increase that was to take effect December 1, 2016. Details regarding the planned increase are available here.
The Court ruled that the National Council on Compensation Insurance (“NCCI”) and the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (“OIR”) did not comply with the state’s Sunshine Laws and open meeting requirements in setting the rate increase. The Court also held that the NCCI failed to provide its data to an actuarial expert retained by the plaintiff in the case. In addition to finding the workers’ compensation rate increase null and void, the Court ordered NCCI to promptly provide the plaintiff with all the relevant records regarding the rate increase that has not already been provided.
While Florida employers will receive a short reprieve from the anticipated rate increases, employers should expect an increase in workers’ compensation claims as attorneys seek the benefit of unlimited legal fees in these suits.
This client alert is intended to inform clients and other interested parties about legal matters of current interest and is not intended as legal advice. If you have any questions about these issues, please contact your Labor and Employment counsel at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.