Today’s post was shared by Workers Comp News and comes from www.jdsupra.com
On Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 11th Circuit Trial Judge Jorge E. Cueto entered a Summary Final Judgment Order declaring the exclusive remedy provision of the Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act) unconstitutional. In Julio Cortes v. Velda Farms LLC (Case No. 2011-13661-CA-25 in Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County; also captioned Florida Workers’ Advocates, Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group, Elsa Padgett v. State of Florida, Office of the Attorney General), petitioners asked the court to decide if injured workers should have the right to pursue damages outside of the workers’ compensation system, thereby negating the exclusive remedy principle. Judge Cueto agreed and further stated that the current workers’ compensation law did not provide adequate benefits compared with the tort system. Petitioners included Florida Workers’ Advocates (FWA) and the Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG). WILG is a national organization of attorneys representing injured workers. FWA is an organization of attorneys representing injured workers in Florida.
The complaint for damages was originally brought by an employee against an employer based on the alleged negligence of the employer. The affirmative defense of workers’ compensation immunity under Fla. Stat. §440.11 was timely raised. The complaint was later amended to add Count IV, seeking declaratory relief that Fla. Stat. §440.11 (the exclusive remedy…