The Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee voted 7-1 yesterday to approve legislation that would require workers’ compensation carriers to compete on price rather than propose premium levels through a common ratings agency – essentially transforming the peninsula into a loss cost state. The bill, SB 1582, by Rob Bradley, would also allow workers to pay attorneys hourly rates if they take insurers to court. Further, Bradley’s instrument would change the way Florida compensation judges award attorney fees to a new max of $250 per billable hour, plus a $1,500 limit on fees involving medical-only claims would be eliminated. The provision is a concession to a Florida Supreme Court ruling striking down Florida’s attorney fee caps in workers’ compensation cases as unconstitutional in the Castellanos case.
Further coverage via Florida Politics here.