Thursday, August 14, 2014

Jurist of the Day -- Judge Cueto!


Everyone knows worker's comp is a joke, an unfair, byzantine, broken-down system that no one could claim is satisfactory or one that treats injured workers with dignity.

Still, it takes a brave jurist to call a spade a spade:
A Miami judge declared Florida’s long-controversial workers’ compensation law unconstitutional Wednesday, saying successive state legislatures had so diminished medical care and wage-loss benefits for injured workers that the statute now violates employees’ “fundamental” rights.

In a case involving a Miami-Dade County government office worker, Circuit Judge Jorge E. Cueto said the nearly 80-year-old law forces injured workers into a legal system that is so flawed it does not provide adequate medical care or dollars to replace lost wages. Under Florida law, workers have no choice but to seek benefits under the workers’ comp system. Except under rare circumstances, they cannot sue their employers.

“The benefits in the act have been so decimated,” Cueto wrote, “that it no longer provides a reasonable alternative” to filing suit in civil court.

Cueto’s ruling comes at a pivotal time for mostly blue-collar and agricultural workers in Florida: Lawmakers and business leaders say high workers’ compensation insurance premiums have threatened to derail the state’s economic growth, while worker advocates say the state has allowed widespread insurance fraud to fester while counteracting the high premiums by punishing workers.

The controversy, which has simmered for years, is becoming increasingly prominent as worker rights lawyers ask judges, including those on the state’s highest court, to strike down the law once and for all.
There are already a few cases working their way to the FL Supremes, including this one:
“This system of redress does not comport with any notion of natural justice, and its result is repugnant to fundamental fairness because it relegates a severely injured worker to a legal twilight zone of economic and familial ruin,” a three-judge Tallahassee appeals court panel wrote in a February 2013 opinion that struck down the statute. The full court later restored the law, and the case is now before the state’s highest court.
This is yet another reason to get rid of the Lizard Governor before he packs the Supremes with a bunch of his cronies.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/08/13/4288124/injured-employees-cheated-by.html#storylink=cpy


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/08/13/4288124/injured-employees-cheated-by.html#storylink=cpy
Did I mention VOTE NO on Amendment 3?


7 comments:

  1. Amendment 3 is a turd sandwich with extra sauces.

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  2. Depends on the panel.

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  3. God help us if Rick Scott wins another term.

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  4. Cueto is the man! Smart, tough, fair & doesn't give a fuck

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  5. Cueto is terrific. If Scott wins, you can look forward to new Justices Makar, Rothenberg and Jason Gonzalez. They will be hand-picked by the Governor and pushed through by his hand-picked jnc.

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  6. Somewhat of a pyrrhic victory for the Intervenors. There is no one on the other side to appeal it and it hss no precedential value as a trial court order. There was really no point to this at all, other than principle, which we all know is generally not vindicated in civil court, if one considers the cost. Just my take.

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