On June 9, 2016, the Florida Supreme Court issued its opinion in the case of Bradley Westphal vs. City of St. Petersburg, etc, et al, No. SC13-1930 (“Westphal”). The Supreme Court, in a 5-to-2 decision, concluded that the 104 week limitation on temporary total disability benefits established in section 440.15(2)(a) of the Florida Statutes is unconstitutional as it results in a statutory gap in benefits, in violation of the constitutional right of access to courts.
The Supreme Court’s decision revives the 260 week limitation on temporary total disability benefits that proceeded the 1994 amendments to section 440.15(2)(a) of the Florida Statutes, limiting temporary total disability benefits to 104 weeks.
NCCI is currently evaluating the Westphal decision and will amend the pending rate filing currently under review by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. Further details will be made available upon submission of the amended rate filing.