Florida Construction Injury Lawyer: Florida District Court of Appeal Chalks Up Another “W” for Employers

Brandon Stein

By: Brandon Stein

If you or someone you know was injured, contact our Fort Lauderdale construction lawyers today.

As a North Miami Construction Site Injury Lawyer, Florida courts continue to hold that employees seeking to recover damages for wrongful conduct of their employer should be forever barred from the pursuit of their claims.  Ultimately, Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Law is structured so that employees injured on the job may recover benefits as quickly and as efficiently as possible.  While Florida law is geared toward assisting the injured worker recover his or her workers’ compensation benefits, the law is the exact opposite when it comes to employees injured on the job looking to file suit against their employer.

This past week, the District Court of Appeal for the State of Florida came down with a decision further affirming the difficulty in bringing a lawsuit by an employee against his or her employer. In “List Industries, Inc. v. Dalien,” the Florida Workers’ Compensation Immunity Statute 440.11 was the subject of the lawsuit, and at trial the jury awarded an injured employee $2.7 million in damages.  Ultimately, the District Court of Appeal reversed the Trial Court’s ruling and held that the employee failed to prove his case by “clear and convincing” evidence as required by the statute.

Being a North Miami Beach construction lawyer that helps injured workers, I am constantly attempting to work around the strict parameters of Florida Statute 440.11.  According to that statute, when an employee injured on the job receives workers’ compensation benefits and then retains a Florida personal injury lawyer to recover damages in a lawsuit, the injured party must prove each and every element by clear and convincing evidence. This is a higher burden of proof than your typical personal injury case in Florida.

This is the statute that the Florida District Court of Appeal relied upon in rendering its holding on January 23, 2013.  Essentially, the appellate court held that the arguments raised by the South Florida construction lawyer representing the injured worker failed to meet the extremely high burden of clear and convincing evidence.  Ultimately, 440.11 specifies that in order to hold an employer liable, the employee’s Florida construction attorney must prove that the employer’s conduct had risen to the level of an intentional act.  In the previously mentioned case of “List Industries, Inc.,” the appellate court held that even though the employer’s conduct could be viewed as negligent, it certainly does not rise to the level of an intentional act, which is required by Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Immunity Statute 440.11.

While this case is not positive for injured workers in Southeast Florida that look to retain attorneys to sue their employer, this appellate court holding does not entirely prevent lawsuits of this nature from being filed.  However, Fort Myers construction lawyers must be meticulous and extremely careful before pursuing a claim under 440.11.

Injured? Contact our Cape Coral Construction Lawyers today!