Florida Supreme Court
In 2003 the Florida legislature enacted comprehensive workers’ compensation reforms. The main thrust of these reforms was the ability to rein in obscene attorney fees by establishing guideline attorney fees based upon a percentage of the benefits obtained and eliminating fee awards based upon an hourly rate in workers’ compensation cases. In this case, a claimant’s attorney racked up 80 hours in attorney fees, when the underlying claimant was only seeking $3,224 in benefits.
Status: DECIDED. Amicus brief filed 01/29/08. On October 23, 2008, the Florida Supreme Court held the reform statute created ambiguity in the law and did not preclude awarding higher fees.