A recent Florida case filed against the Broward County School Board and Broward’s Riverland Elementary School regarding workers’ compensation benefits is being heard by the state Supreme Court.
Workers’ compensation provides employees with injuries obtained while on the job. It saves them the time and money necessary for going through the civil court system and does not require a showing of negligence. The fact that an injury occurs while on the job can be enough to trigger workers’ comp benefits.
The case involves a 2015 shoulder injury suffered by Teresita De Jesus Abreu while at work. Although workers’ compensation insurance agreed to cover surgery for a partial rotator-cuff tear, she continued to have pain. Abreu attempted to obtain coverage once again for her shoulder under the advisement of her orthopedic physician. However, the doctor was not authorized under the workers’ compensation coverage, which gave rise to a dispute regarding the necessity of the surgery.
Expert Medical Advisers and Separation of Powers
An “expert medical adviser” was appointed by the judge of compensation claims in order to provide an opinion. The adviser offered the opinion that Abreu did not need the second surgery, and the judge therefore denied her coverage.
According to documents posted on the Supreme Court website, the 1st District Court of Appeal rejected Abreu’s arguments, but Abreu’s attorney asked the Supreme Court to take up the case. She filed a brief with the Supreme Court raising a number of constitutional arguments including an assertion that the law in question violates the separation of powers as explained in the Constitution.
A Claim of Constitutional Violations
Abreu claimed that the Legislature’s decision to allow expert medical advisers to be presumed correct and to place the burden of providing “clear and convincing evidence” on the claimant equated to an “insurmountable task, especially in light of the restrictions on admissible testimony in workers compensation cases.” She claimed that it violated due-process rights and infringed upon the executive branch’s authority to set the rules of procedure for workers’ compensation cases. The issue is yet to be decided by the Supreme Court.
If you have been injured on the job, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Daggett Shuler can help you to receive what you deserve. Call us today at 800-815-5500 today!
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