I. STATE APPELLATE DECISIONS

  1. FLORIDA
  • Beavers v. Carpenter Contractors of America (Fla. 1st DCA). Workers’ compensation. Judge of compensation claims (“JCC”) erred in denying claimant’s request that pain management with a particular doctor be continued or reauthorized, and in ruling that the doctor was properly deauthorized by the employer/carrier under section 440.13(2)(d), Fla. Stat. (2010), which gives the carrier the right to transfer care to another doctor if an independent medical examination determines that the employee is not making appropriate progress in recuperation. The court held that a claimant who has reached maximum medical improvement cannot be “in recuperation,” under section 440.13(2)(d), as a matter of law, where the treatment being provided is not curative.
  • Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg (Fla. 1st DCA). Workers’ compensation; unconstitutionality of 104 week limitation on temporary disability payments. The Court held that section 440.15(2)(a), Fla. Stat. (2009), is unconstitutional under article I, section 21, of the Florida Constitution, as applied to Westphal and others similarly situated, by limiting them to no more than 104 weeks of temporary disability benefits, because treating physicians had not yet certified maximum medical improvement necessary to apply for permanent disability benefits, even though they were totally disabled, incapable of engaging in employment, and ineligible for any compensation under Florida’s Workers’ Compensation law for an indeterminate period. The ruling is prospective only, and does not apply to proceedings that became final prior to the date of the decision.
  1. GEORGIA
  • Turner v. Williamson, et al. (Ct. of App. Ga., A12A2534). Enforcement of settlement agreement. Trial court order denying Appellant’s motion to enforce insurance policy limits settlement reversed. The insurer claims handler’s written and oral communications in response to claimant’s settlement offer demonstrated an unequivocal acceptance of the terms of the offer: execution of a limited liability release in accordance with O.C.G.A. §33-24-41.1 in exchange for policy limits. The insurer claims handler’s written and oral communication contained no language conditioning acceptance upon execution of the particular release form provided with a subsequent letter. While the release provided may have included additional terms not acceptable to claimant, mere inclusion of a release form unacceptable to claimant does not alter the fact that a meeting of the minds had occurred with regard to the terms of the settlement.

II. FEDERAL APPELLATE DECISIONS

  • Flintlock Construction Services, LLC v. Well-Come Holdings, LLC, et al. (11th Cir. Ga.). Commercial general liability insurance. Summary judgment for insurance carrier affirmed, despite claimant’s argument that the carrier was estopped to deny coverage, which the claimant presented in its brief opposing summary judgment in the trial court but not plead in its complaint. The court held that, at the summary judgment stage, the proper procedure for plaintiffs to assert a new claim is to amend the complaint in accordance with Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a), which the claimant/plaintiff did not do.
  • Great American Assurance Co. v Elliot (11th Cir. Fla.). Property/casualty insurance. Summary judgment for insurer affirmed, finding no duty to defend or indemnify insured sued in a civil action for his murder of the plaintiffs’ mother.

III. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW/AGENCY DECISIONS

  1.  FLORIDA
  • In the Matter of Richard Edward Carter, Case No. 118324-11-AG, Final Order. Florida Department of Financial Services (“FDFS”) revokes agent’s licenses due to sale of annuities based on violations of sections 626.611(5) (willful misrepresentation of insurance policy or contract); 626.611(7) (demonstrated lack of fitness or trustworthiness to engage in business of insurance); 626.611(9) (fraudulent or dishonest practices); and, 626.9541(1)(e)1.(publishing, disseminating, circulating, or delivering any false statement), Fla. Stat.
  1. GEORGIA
  • No Georgia agency decisions reported.

IV. NOTICES OF ADMINISTRATIVE RULEMAKING PROCEEDINGS

  1. FLORIDA

Financial Services Commission, Cabinet Meeting Room, Lower Level, The Capitol, Tallahassee, FL.

  1. GEORGIA
  • No Georgia rulemaking proceedings reported.

V. MEETING NOTICES OF INTEREST/MISCELLANEOUS