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Florida Supreme Court Rules Against Auto Insurer in PIP Dispute Involving Examinations Under Oath
Up To The Minute
By Kim Driggers, FCA Asst. General Counsel   
Tuesday, 02 July 2013

Last week, a divided Florida Supreme Court in Merly Nunez v. Geico General Ins. Co., ruled that under the prior, pre-1/1/2012 PIP law,  Geico could not require its insured to give a statement under oath (“EUO”) as a requirement before paying PIP benefits after an auto accident.  The 5-2 ruling found (below) that Florida’s PIP laws requiring “swift and virtually automatic” recovery of benefits did not allow the insurer to place such a requirement on the insured.  The Court reasoned that since PIP is a mandatory insurance, and since the EUO requirement was not in the pre-2012 PIP law, that Geico could not make its requirements more strict under the terms of its policy of insurance.

Does this mean that all EUOs from this point forward can be refused and the insurer must still issue benefits?   

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Appeals Court Grants the FCA Permission to File Amicus Brief in Myers v. McCarty
Up To The Minute
By The FCA   
Thursday, 20 June 2013
                On June 14 the First District Court of Appeal granted the FCA’s earlier filed motion seeking permission to file an Amicus or, friend of the court, brief in support of the order by Judge Terry Lewis, Leon County Circuit Court judge, enjoining application of certain parts of the new PIP law in Myers v. McCarty. The FCA filed its friend of the Court brief on June 13.  In its brief, the FCA sheds light to the appellate court on the practice of Chiropractic and on the irreparable harm imposed by the new 2012 PIP law. 
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FCA Webinar Series: New PIP Laws After HB 119
Resources
By The FCA   
Thursday, 06 June 2013

Effective Dates, New Patients, Denials and Limits.

 
While we would all agree that the “new PIP” is not what Floridians need or expect, you can still be of tremendous service to your patients.  The FCA now offers a new 33-minute webinar on PIP as part of its ongoing effort to assist you in this period of transition, to supplement the vast resources already posted for easy member access on the FCA web site and the PIP classes being offered at every FCA convention this year.  View it at your convenience, as many times as you would like.  We thank our presenters, FCA General Counsel Paul Lambert and FCA Asst. General Counsel Kim Driggers, for their invaluable insights in “New PIP Laws After House Bill 119:  Effective Dates, New Patients, Denials and Limits.”  We also thank Dr. Sig Miller of ChiroView Presents for his excellent job as moderator. 


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PIP Update – Injunction on “New PIP”
Up To The Minute
By The FCA   
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
                At the close of last week, the First District Court of Appeal issued an order affirming  Judge Lewis' order vacating the automatic stay of the Injunction (links to both below).  So where does that leave the status of “new PIP” at this moment?  At this moment, Judge Lewis' injunction is in place which, arguably to some, prohibits PIP insurers from denying for massage or acupuncture and prohibits them from limiting benefits to $2,500 based on a determination of there being no emergency medical condition.  To our knowledge as reported by members, State Farm is following the Injunction, but GEICO, Progressive, and USAA are not following the Injunction.
 
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Judge Grants Request to Vacate Stay of the Injunction in PIP Constitutional Challenge
Up To The Minute
By Kimberly Driggers, JD, FCA Asst. General Counsel & Paul Lambert, JD, FCA General Counsel   
Friday, 19 April 2013

Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis issued an order granting the Plaintiff's request to remove the stay on the temporary injunction in the case of Myers v. McCarty, that will now put the injunction back in place on the new PIP law.  What does that mean to you?  Effectively, auto carriers should be paying PIP benefits per the old law without regard to the limitations set forth by the definition of "Emergency Medical Condition" and without denying massage therapy or acupuncture services.

 

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PIP Lawsuit Update: Plaintiff Response to State’s Automatic Stay of Injunction
Up To The Minute
By The FCA   
Wednesday, 27 March 2013
Prior updates on the PIP constitutionality/injunction lawsuit can be found on the FCA web site, in the “PIP 2013” section.  Log in as a member to see this helpful content. 

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PIP Lawsuit: State Files Appeal of Temporary Injunction
Up To The Minute
By The FCA   
Friday, 22 March 2013
On March 21 the Office of Insurance Regulation filed a Notice of Appeal of a Non-Final Order and Notice of Automatic Stay in the First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee. Under the Rules of Appellate Procedure, the state is entitled to an automatic stay of any order it appeals pending the outcome of the appeal. A stay of the order granting temporary injunction means that the status quo remains in effect pending the outcome of the appeal. In other words, the $2,500.00 cap for injuries that do not meet the definition of emergency medical condition, the ban on billing for massage or acupuncture, and the restriction of the determination of an emergency medical condition, remain in effect without change.
 
The parties then have two choices.  Either party can ask the Appellate court to send the issue to the Florida Supreme Court as a matter of great public importance and the Florida Supreme Court may or may not accept it.   Or the State (Appellant) can move forward in the Appellate court where the written briefing process takes a minimum of 90 days.  The appellate court may, in its discretion, grant the parties the opportunity to expound upon their brief by scheduling oral arguments. There are no time restraints on the court for granting oral arguments or issuing an order in the appeal. The appellate process may take a few or many months before it is resolved.

We will keep you apprised of further developments via future member bulletins.


 
PIP Lawsuit: Debate Continues Over PIP Lawsuit Ruling
Up To The Minute
By The FCA   
Thursday, 21 March 2013

The decision made public yesterday by Tallahassee Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis, granting a temporary injunction to several key provisions in Florida's new PIP/No-fault auto insurance law, continues to gather considerable attention in Florida’s Capitol.

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Judge Issues Temporary Injunction in PIP Lawsuit
Up To The Minute
By The FCA   
Wednesday, 20 March 2013

               Judge Terry Lewis, Circuit Court, Tallahassee, Leon County, Florida (19th Judicial Circuit) has issued an order granting in part a motion for temporary injunction relating to Florida’s new PIP law.  The order concludes:

               “Accordingly, it is ORDERED AND ADJUDGED as follows:

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Third Lawsuit Filed Challenging PIP Law
Up To The Minute
By The FCA   
Friday, 08 February 2013

A third lawsuit challenging the validity of the changes to the PIP statute that took effect on January 1, 2013, was filed in the Leon County Circuit Court on January 7 by the same law firm who filed the prior two lawsuits.  The original State court action was filed in Leon County but voluntarily dismissed by the Plaintiffs without a hearing or explanation.  They filed a second suit in the federal court in Hillsborough County that was dismissed by the federal judge. Upon the Plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration, the federal judge likewise issued a lengthy order denying reconsideration on the claims.  The third suit now filed again in Leon County Circuit Court, raises similar allegations as were raised in the previous suits.  

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