McCarthy Opinion

On Wednesday October 23, 2013, Florida’s First District Court of Appeals reversed a Leon County Circuit Court order which granted an injunction against the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation from enforcing the amended provisions of the No-Fault Law.

The Florida No-Fault Law underwent several major amendments in the 2012 legislative session which became effective on January 1, 2013. Shortly after the changes went into effect, a group of chiropractors, massage therapists and acupuncturists filed a declaratory action against Kevin McCarthy, Commissioner of Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, in which they sought to prevent the enforcement of the amendments to the No-Fault law. The providers argued the amendments violated the rights of access to courts in Florida’s Constitution. The trial court agreed with the medical providers and suspended the part of the law that required a finding of an emergency medical condition and prohibits payments to acupuncturists, massage therapists and chiropractors.

The First DCA disagreed with the trial court and determined the plaintiffs/medical providers lacked standing to bring the action as none of the plaintiffs suffered an actual denial of access to courts or yet suffered any harm under the new law. The appellate court reversed the trial court and ordered the changes to the law go into effect. However, the appellate court did not address the constitutionality of the new law. As such, the fight over the changes to the No-Fault law