1. STATE APPELLATE DECISIONS
    1. FLORIDA
  • Department of Corrections/Suwanee Corrections Institute/State of Florida v. Ferguson (1st DCA). Workers' compensation/attorneys’ fees. Appellate court lacked jurisdiction to consider challenge to award of separate hourly attorney's fee for time spent proving entitlement to fee where judge of compensation claims reserved jurisdiction to determine the amount of that fee.
  • Fredrick v. Monroe County School Board, et. al. (Fla. 1st DCA). Workers' compensation. Where claimant filed notice of voluntary dismissal of petition for permanent total disability benefits after expert medical advisor opined that claimant was not permanently and totally disabled, judge of compensation claims properly ordered that claimant pay costs to prevailing employer/carrier. Court recommends that Legislature consider whether an employee who files a petition for benefits in good faith should be subject to the imposition of costs.
  • Miranda v. Alterra Clare Bridge (1st DCA). Workers' compensation/limitation of actions. Appeal challenging dismissal with prejudice of petition for permanent total disability benefits based on expiration of statute of limitations raises baseless and apparently frivolous arguments. Claimant and claimant’s counsel ordered to show cause why sanctions should not be entered against them, individually, or collectively.
  • Shannon v. Cheney Brothers Inc. and The Travelers (1st DCA). Workers' compensation/attorney's fees. Judge of compensation claims properly awarded attorney's fees for claimant's attorney's attendance at deposition of claimant where no claim had been filed. However, judge of compensation claims erred in denying award of attorney's fees to claimant's attorney for attendance of second deposition set by employer/carrier after attorney had filed motion to collect attorney's fees. Motion for attorney's fees was not a claim, and attorney's fees were awardable under statute providing for award of attorney's fees for attending deposition where no claim has been filed. Judge of compensation claims properly denied additional attorney's fees for attorney's efforts in securing payment of fees.
  • Slominski v. Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Fla. 4th DCA). Homeowners’ insurance hurricane damage case. Summary judgment in favor of insurer affirmed. Insureds' filing of a claim more than three and a half years after the purported date of loss prejudiced insurer and relieved it of its duty to provide coverage. Affidavits of contractor and engineer, which named the hurricane as the cause of damage to insureds' home and stated that this was no prejudice to insureds, were inconsistent with contractor's and engineer's prior deposition testimony. Therefore, insureds were not entitled to rely upon the affidavits in opposing summary judgment and insureds failed to meet burden of proving lack of prejudice.
  1. GEORGIA
  • No Georgia decisions published.
  1. FEDERAL APPELLATE DECISIONS
  • No Florida or Georgia decisions published.
  1. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW/AGENCY DECISIONS
  • Premier Insurance Group v. Office of Insurance Regulation, Division of Administrative Hearings Case No. 12-2938F, Final Order (October 4, 2012). Action for attorneys' fees and costs following a successful challenge by insurer of a Florida OIR statement defined as a rule but not adopted as such, in violation of section 120.54, Fla. Stat. The insurer was the prevailing party in Case No. 12-1201RU and the Florida OIR was on notice that the agency statement may constitute an unadopted rule for substantially more than 30 days preceding the filing of the Petition in that case. The Administrative Law Judge awarded insurer $50,000, the statutory maximum under section 120.54, Fla. Stat., to be paid on or before the 60th day following the entry of the Final Order.
  1. NOTICES OF ADMINISTRATIVE RULEMAKING PROCEEDINGS
    1. RULE DEVELOPMENT
  • No Florida or Georgia rule development noticed.
  1. PROPOSED RULES – FLORIDA ONLY NOTICED THIS WEEK

FLORIDA

  • Rule 19-8.010, F.A.C. - Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Advisory Council Reimbursement Contract. A Notice of Proposed Rule for Rule 19-8.010, F.A.C., Reimbursement Contract, was published on September 28, 2012, providing the public with 21 days from that date to request a rule hearing. If a rule hearing is timely requested, the Advisory Council will meet by conference call on October 22, 2012, to review comments made by the public at the rule hearing. In addition, other general business of the Council may be addressed. Conference call to be held on October 22, 2012,1:00 p.m. (ET) until conclusion of meeting, 1 (888) 670-3525 and enter conference code 7135858151. A copy of the agenda may be obtained by contacting: Tracy Allen, Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, P.O. Drawer 13300, Tallahassee, FL 32317-3300, tracy.allen@sbafla.com, (850) 413-1341.
  • Rule 69L-5.216, F.A.C. - Provision of Benefits and Safe Working Environment by Self-Insurers. The proposed amendment to Rule 69L-5.216, F.A.C. clarifies when Form SI-19 (Certification of Servicing for Self-Insurers) is due to the Division of Workers’ Compensation or Florida Self-Insurers Guaranty Association (FSIGA) for current and former self-insurers who contract with Qualified Servicing Entities for one or more years. The Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Workers’ Compensation will hold a public hearing on October 31, 2012, 9:30 a.m., Hartman Building, 2012 Capital Circle Southeast, Room 102, Tallahassee, FL.
  1. MEETING NOTICES OF INTEREST/MISCELLANEOUS
  • Florida OIR Announces Expanded Role of Deputy Chief of Staff to Include Government Affairs. Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty announced that Rebecca Matthews will direct the Office’s Government Affairs initiatives, which includes both Legislative and Cabinet Affairs. Ms. Matthews currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff; her new Government Affairs role is an expansion of her current duties.
  • Florida OIR Receives Numerous Insurer PIP Filings to Comply with HB 119. The Office has received over 100 PIP filings by auto insurers operating in Florida as required by House Bill 119. The filing must reflect at least a 10 percent reduction in PIP rates, utilize reductions calculated by the actuarial report commissioned by the Florida OIR as required by House Bill 119, or provide actuarial justification as to why their savings should vary from these measures.
  • Florida OIR Issues Order Regarding Citizens Property Insurance Rate Filings. The effective dates for the new rates on both the homeowners’ and dwelling fire policies are January 1, 2013 for new and renewal multi-peril business, and February 1, 2013 for new and renewal wind-only business. The overall rate changes established by the Florida OIR are: Homeowners Filings No. #12-13991 (Coastal Account/HRA Account) and #12-13992 (Multi-Peril Personal Lines Account) 10.8% rate increase approved and sinkhole portion rate approved for HO-3 Owners only of 21.4%. Dwelling Fire #12-14190 (Wind Only – Coastal Account) and #12-14191 (Multi-Peril Personal Lines Account) 8.8% rate increase approved and sinkhole portion rate approved 44.8%.
  • Florida OIR Public Rate Hearing Concerning NCCI’s Rate Filing. NCCI’s presentation at the public hearing to support its rate proposal to the Florida OIR.
  • Florida Department of Financial Services as Receiver – Southern Family Insurance Company. Notices of Determination mailed by the Receiver. All classes were evaluated and the amount recommended along with the class assignment are identified in the notice. The Objection Filing Deadline is November 16, 2012. Objections will not be accepted after this date.
  • Florida Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association, Inc. – on October 8, 2012 beginning at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) a telephone conference to discuss approval of minutes and reinsurance commutation offer. To participate in the teleconference meeting, please contact Kathy Coyne at (941) 378-7408. A copy of the agenda here.
  • Agency for Health Care Administration Medicaid. On October 11, 2012, 9:00a.m.-12:00p.m., Agency for Health Care Administration, 2727 Mahan Drive, Building 3, Conference Room A, Tallahassee, FL. General subject matter to be discussed: Discussion of a Diagnosis Related Group (DRG) based reimbursement payment system for hospital inpatient services. All meeting discussion material, including an agenda, will be posted to the Medicaid Institutional Provider Cost Reimbursement Medicaid Cost Reimbursement website at http://ahca.myflorida.com/Medicaid/cost_reim/index.shtml.
  • Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. On October 15, 2012, 9a.m.-12p.m. (EDT), Teleconference # 1-855-312-8651, Conf. ID 4458606638#. General matters to be discussed: Depopulation Committee Teleconference Meeting. A copy of the agenda may be obtained by contacting: Barbara Walker at 1-800-807-7647, or visiting www.citizensfla.com.
  • Florida Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association, Inc. On October 16, 2012 beginning at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). A telephone conference to discuss executive compensation plan matters. To participate in the teleconference meeting, please contact Kathy Coyne at (941) 378-7408. A copy of the agenda here.
  • Board of Employee Leasing (DBPR). On October 17, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. or soon thereafter. A telephone conference call to discuss general business of the Board. Telephone conference number: 1 (888) 670-3525 and pass code: 7489217568#. A copy of the agenda may be obtained by contacting: Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Board of Employee Leasing Companies, 1940 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0767, or by calling their office at (850) 487-1395.
  • Agency for Health Care Administration Medicaid. On October 24, 2012, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (EST), First Coast Advantage, 580 West 8th Street, Banquet Room, Tower II, Jacksonville, FL., Call-in number: 1-888-3525; passcode: 7411659389#. General subjects to be discussed: To have a dialogue between the Medicaid managed care plans, behavioral health providers, Advocates, and Stakeholders. The purpose of the discussion will be to identify ways to enhance the provision of behavioral health services to Medicaid recipients in managed care. This meeting is not affiliated with the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care implementation. A copy of the agenda may be obtained by contacting: Dawn Rosier by email at Dawn.Rosier@ahca.myflorida.com.