Immediately after pressing “send” on my last blog (PIP Debate…All About Wasted Time!) news arrived that Florida’s First District Court of Appeals (DCA) had denied the Chiropractors, Acupuncturists and Massage Therapists request for a rehearing. See: McCarty v. Myers
The decision has unfortunately given those opposed to repealing No-Fault additional footing. They are “in denial” so to speak; apparently believing that after 40 years of reforms and court decisions this round is somehow different.
Commenting on the decision, the Property and Casualty Insurers Association (PCI) said it means that now “… once these reforms are fully implemented and have been given time to work, the fraud and abuse in Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system that so adversely impacts Floridians will subside…”.
Doubtful, but…even if the fraud subsides it will only be until it increases again like it has following every single reform effort in the past.
Remember, the court’s opinion was devoid of any real discussion on the 2012 PIP reforms–it merely concluded that the plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate that their “personal” access to court was unconstitutionally restricted by the new law and they lacked “standing”. Zero guidance was offered on whether the reforms can withstand constitutional muster.
Industry lawyers tell me the litigation door is wide open (again) and that individual claims will surely be filed on numerous provisions in the statute.
The plaintiffs are even more fired up. They say the 1st DCA decision “…Points the Way!” for more challenges to PIP–a mirror of what has happened in every decade since the original enactment in 1971.
One legal fund, the United Practitioners Organization (UPO), declared “…this game is not over!” and “It’s for these reasons, we are not quitting…Constitutional Rights are being violated!”
A provider’s right to work, a provider’s right to be equally compensated.
An auto- injured patient’s choice of providers and services are excluded.
Massage Therapy and Acupuncture Services-excluded no matter who provides it.
The right to see a doctor when you’re feeling pain or discomfort, not in a 14 day limited time- frame arbitrarily set by legislators, whether or not you are feeling pain.
See a medical doctor in 14 days or you get NOTHING for the No-Fault premiums you paid.
Many more rights have been stomped on by FL Legislators in this PIP ordeal.
United Practitioners Organization
Industry members still in denial should take some time to read my last blog and tell me if what’s going on now sounds any different than the last 40 years.
It’s worth repeating…we need to stop wasting time defending an indefensible PIP system and invest time working together to reform Florida’s abusive bad faith and civil remedy statutes.
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