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Workers Compensation in Florida Before the Supreme Court


Florida's worker's compensation laws have been under scrutiny many times in the past, and a recent case has brought issues to light once again. Below, we're looking at a case, Daniel Stahl v. Hialeah Hospital, that goes beyond one employee's worker's comp case and challenges the state's laws for all employees.

How Did the Case Begin?

In 2003, Daniel Stahl was an employee at Hialeah Hospital. He sustained a back injury while on the job, when working as a nurse and lifting a patient. Later, it was determined the injury would be ongoing, preventing Stahl from heavy lifting, resulting in the end of his nursing career.

The injury occurred just two months after Florida laws were revised to dramatically reduce workers comp benefits, including eliminating partial disabilities, and to tighten guidelines for who those benefits apply to.

What's the Argument?

Daniel Stahl and his attorney, Mark Zientz, argue that legal benefits for workers have drastically declined over time, making it extremely difficult for those who are injured to receive any compensation. Stahl himself received just $5,472 for the 12 weeks that he was partially impaired and did not qualify for long term assistance.

Stahl and Zientz started the case in an effort to change the laws that eliminated benefits for those who are partially disabled on the job. They argue the laws go against the 14th Amendment. The two aren't the first to criticize the law, which was signed off by Governor Jeb Bush in 2003.

Is This a State Issue?

Clearly, the case is based on Florida's worker's comp laws, specifically. However, when Daniel Stahl and Mark Zientz brought the case to the Florida Supreme Court, the court dismissed the review, saying the case was out of their jurisdiction.

Worth noting is several of the justices sympathized with Stahl, noting the compensation he received seemed "meager" and the laws have been the cause of concern for many over the years.

What Happens Next?

After the Florida Supreme Court declined to review the case, Mark Zientz petitioned the US Supreme Court to take the case. Regardless of the outcome, the case underscores the importance of worker's compensation legislation and challenges whether current laws are actually doing their job of financially protecting employees.

In Las Vegas the workers compensation laws follow different guidelines, however, it is still important to hire the proper legal counsel when hurt on the job. Contact the lawyers of Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez at 702-388-4476 for a free legal consultation and to receive the settlement you deserve.

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