personal injury - employment law - commercial litigation
Federal Challenge To PIP Dismissed:
The Middle District of Florida dismissed a lawsuit filed by an acupuncturist; chiropractor and massage therapist challenging Florida’s newly enacted PIP law. The lawsuit alleged the law violated due process provisions of both the Florida and U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit alleged that the PIP law violated due process provisions because it prohibited licensed acupuncturists and massage therapists from providing care to those injured as a result of an automobile accident and severely restricted chiropractic physicians from providing care.
In dismissing the lawsuit, Judge Richard Lazzara ruled that the PIP law did not unreasonably burden the medical providers’ ability to follow a chosen profession free from unreasonable governmental interference. The Judge further noted that the providers had failed to demonstrate that the PIP law violated a fundamental constitutional right. Therefore, the law did not violate the U.S. Constitution. Having dismissed that portion of the lawsuit dealing with alleged violations of the U.S. Constitution, the Judge then dismissed the claims asserted under the Florida Constitution finding that those issues were better left for state court judged.
The same providers also challenged the new PIP law in state court, but that lawsuit was also dismissed. The state court judge held that the medical providers lacked standing to challenge the law. In the judge's opinion, the proper person to challenge the law was an injured motorist who was denied PIP benefits or, at the very least, a provider who had taken an assignment of PIP benefits. The lack of an injured motorist, in the judge's opinion, was fatal to the claim.
Nevertheless, many insurance companies such as Allstate and State Farm has indicated they will not, at least at this time, deny benefits under the new PIP law until the issue is finally resolved. I represent those injured in motorcycle and automobile accidents caused by the negligence of others. Referrals are always appreciated.
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