Help from a COVID-19 Workers’ Comp Attorney
While Florida teachers may be forced back into the classroom for this upcoming school year in most counties despite the skyrocketing amount of cornoa virus cases, they may not be covered for medical care and or lost wages if they contract the disease under the present analysis of Florida’s Workers’ Compensation law. That’s because the State of Florida has one of the nation’s most worker-unfriendly system for injured employees.
Under the Florida Workers Compensation exposure standard, a sick employee must prove that they contracted a disease from their work place by “clear and convincing” evidence. It reads: “An injury or disease caused by exposure to a toxic substance, including, but not limited to, fungus or mold, is not an injury by accident arising out of the employment unless there is clear and convincing evidence establishing that exposure to the specific substance involved, at the levels to which the employee was exposed, can cause the injury or disease sustained by the employee.” Unfortunately, it is one of toughest legal burdens to reach.
Here are just two examples how the Florida Workers Compensation Appellate Court ruled against two workers who alleged an occupational disease was contracted while performing their normal job activities. Although the facts did not involve the novel virus (since it was not around when the cases were decided), it is likely that court’s analysis would be the same had they gotten exposed to Covid-19.
A heavy equipment operator for the City of Titusville, was cleaning a warehouse where he was allegedly exposed to mold. Unfortunately, the debris that he cleaned up was long gone when he fell ill. As such, the court simply denied benefits because the employee could not meet the strict evidentiary standard directly linking the mold exposure to his work place.
In the second case, the court reversed the award of survivors’ benefits to a widow and her two minor children. A maintenance worker for the Indian River County School Board became sick and ultimately died after cleaning a storage building, He was exposed to an odorous white dust from bird droppings which is a known medium for fungi. Unbeknownst to him, by cleaning up the place, he unwittingly destroyed the evidence of what would later kill him. In essence, this poor soul defeated his own workers’ compensation claim leaving his family with nothing upon his death!
Despite these bad rulings, there is however some good news. Right now, state employees in health care, law enforcement, corrections, child safety investigations and emergency services, such as firefighting and paramedics are now covered for COVID-19 conditions. Meanwhile, several workers compensation insurance carriers are accepting responsibility for at least some of the slew of cornoa virus cases.
Hiring a COVID-19 Workers’ Comp Attorney
Let Evan and his legal team at The Law Offices of Evan M. Ostfeld, P.A., provide you with practical support to pursue your possible claims for damages caused by the virus and or other work related injuries. With over 26 years of experience, we will analyze your case for free.
In fact, we do not charge an attorney’s fee or any costs unless there is a court award or settlement. Our commitment is to work with you every step of the way to make sure that you understand the process. Contact us today at (866) 478-3968, (954) 227-7529, (954) 998-0075 Text or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your situation with our team. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you.