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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Worker's comp fight ready for House vote



The Florida House just gave a victory to Big Business by defeating a trial lawyer-backed amendment to a bill aimed at keep workers' compensation costs down. It's close to becoming the first major legislation approved by the chamber this session.

The bill restores limits on attorney fees for injured workers who are wrongly denied claims. The Florida Chamber of Commerce and other businesses' lobbies pressed for the bill after the Florida Supreme Court reversed the 2003 state law limiting fees.

Democrats peppered sponsor Rep. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, suggesting the legislation would hurt the reforms and was unfriendly to workers. Flores cast the bill as a boost to the economy, adding “it assures that the attorney is never going to make more than an injured worker."

Flores argued successfully against an amendment proposed by Rep. J.C. Planas, R-Miami, that says attorney's fees shall not be less than the fee paid to the lawyer for a business. Planas' amendment failed 45-69.

Alex Leary, Times Staff Writer


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 7:33pm]


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