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Court rulings, big rate increases concentrate reform efforts in Florida

Florida’s workers compensation landscape has garnered attention for its legislative activity in response to major court decisions that have upended the system over the past year.

The state is considering various reforms to address elements of its workers comp law that were struck down in separate Florida Supreme Court decisions in 2016: Bradley Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg and Marvin Castellanos v. Next Door Co. et al.

The National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. initially sought a 19.6% increase in state workers comp rates in response to these court decisions last year, but the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation approved only a 14.5% rate increase that took effect last December.

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