Murray Bill Clears FL House

Tallahassee, FL (CompNewsNetwork) - The Florida House of Representatives passed CS/HB 903 to restore the cap of claimants' attorneys fees in workers compensation cases that was overturned in the 2008 Emma Murray v. Mariners Health decision by the Florida Supreme Court. The bill finds that the Supreme Court nullified the 2003 reforms and is intended to "clarify beyond dispute that the reforms on awards of attorney's fees are an essential element of a functioning and self-executing workers' compensation system". Fundamentally, it does not change the circumstances under which the employer/carrier is responsible for paying fees. However, it does remove the requirement that fees be "reasonable" and mandates that the fees may not exceed the statutory percentages. 

The case of Murray V Mariner was a landmark case for Florida, reversing reforms that restricted fees earned by claimants attorneys, and is being widely cited as the reason for rising workers' comp premiums in the state. The bill now moves to the Florida Senate, where, according to some insiders, it's passage is not as certain.

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