The workers' compensation community has been waiting for the First District Court of Appeals, to determine whether the present workers' compensation law is unconstitutional. In the case of
Kauffman v. Community Inclusions, Inc., the Court upheld the constitutionality of the law. This means that attorney fees are limited to a percentage of the dollar value of the benefits procured. In the Kauffman case, the Judge found that the attorney had earned a fee of over $25,000.00, due to prolonged litigation, but was only awarded $684.83, because of the strict formula in the law.
The unfortunate consequence of the Kauffman case, is that more and more workers' compensation attorneys will leave the practice, unable to make a living. That phenomenon has already occurred in the State of Texas, where it is nearly impossible to obtain attorney representation in a workers' compensation case.
It is now up to the Florida Supreme Court, to voluntarily review and consider the Kauffman case. Hopefully the Supreme Court will accept review and consider whether it's fair that the insurance carriers can buy attorney representation, while the working people cannot.