Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, LLP, Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm, and Kopelowitz Ostrow Ferguson Weiselberg Gilbert, P.A. selected to represent the School Board of Broward County v. Juul Labs, Inc. / Altria Group, Inc. HPS co-founding attorney Eugene K. Pettis states, “it is imperative that we protect our youth from the predatory practices that these corporations are deploying from the playbook used to entice millions of American’s to get addicted to tobacco. We have an outstanding legal team built with national and local trial excellence that’s going to fight to protect the greatest resources of our community- our children and their education.”
Looking Back, Moving Forward
In what will be known as one of the most unprecedented times in history, watch HPS Senior Partner and The Florida Bar’s first African American President, Eugene K. Pettis, as he joins current bar President John M. Stewart and other past presidents in a poignant and reflective discussion about “Looking Back, Moving Forward,” the theme of the 2020 Annual Florida Bar Convention. View More on YouTube
Florida Trend’s 2020 Legal Elite
We’re proud to announce that Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm senior partners, Eugene K. Pettis and Richard B. Schwamm have been named to Florida Trend’s 2020 Florida Legal Elite list. We are honored to have been recognized by our peers to hold this prominent recognition, which was received by just over 1% of the active Florida Bar members. At HPS, we will continue working tirelessly to service our clients and the community across the State of Florida.
The Inevitable Workplace: COVID-19 and Workers’ Comp
by Michael M. Riedhammer, Esq
THE NEWS IS OUT: employees across Florida are being called back to the physical locations of their employment. As this happens, the cautious and vigilant employer will have put safeguards in place with the intent of preventing any transmission of disease. But it seems inevitable that some employees are going to be diagnosed with COVID-19 in the coming weeks and months. It thus seems likely that there will even be instances of multiple diagnoses from the same employment location. There will be questions and concerns from both employee and employer alike when that happens.
The employee who tests positive for COVID-19 after returning to a physical work location will no doubt feel that the two are related. That employee, with perhaps no other options, may look to workers’ compensation to cover medical expenses and lost wages. However, it is an uphill battle indeed, a “Herculean task” as recently described by the 1st DCA, to prove that an exposure or occupational disease arose out of work. It would seem that the employer and the insurance company will be quick to deny these claims given the unlikely chance of the injured employee prevailing.
The cautious and vigilant employer however must be ever more cautious and vigilant in issuing such a denial. If not worded correctly, the denial may be just what the injured employee needs to circumvent workers’ compensation immunity and open the door to seek damages in circuit court. The employer who did not follow all the CDC guidelines or, perhaps worse, who may have put them in place but did not see to their strict adherence, may find itself subject to more significant costs than a few doctors’ visits and some lost wages.
As the workplace enters the “new normal” these scenarios will likely be playing out in all types of employment situations. Every instance will be different and unique and will need to be addressed on an individual basis.
For more information, check out this article: https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/covid-19-and-workers-compensation-claims