Florida Judge Blocks Parts Of PIP Reform

Mar 21, 2013

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Last year the Florida legislature passed laws reforming the state’s personal injury protection or PIP.  Lawmakers decreased how much money insurance companies had to pay out and who could be paid.  The law was an effort to decrease insurance fraud, but a ruling by a Florida judge has temporarily blocked the reforms.

Second Circuit Judge Terry Lewis has temporarily blocked the enforcement of portions of last year’s PIP changes.  The case was brought by a group of chiropractors, massage therapists, and acupuncturists, who were blocked from qualifying for the full amount of payable benefits.  Russel Lazega, an attorney who represents hospitals, said insurance companies have about 7,500 reasons to appeal.

“This law gave them, for a very large percentage of the PIP claims that come through, the right to cut what they have to pay down by 75 percent, so folks are getting basically one quarter of the insurance of what they use to have for most of their claims, so the industry is certainly very aggressively wanting to see this law stick,” Lazega said.

In his ruling, Judge Lewis called the entire PIP system an “experiment in socialism.”  The state says it will appeal.

News Service Of Florida contributed to this report.

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