ORLANDO – April 28, 2022 – Civil litigation firm, Wicker Smith O’Hara McCoy & Ford P.A., is proud to announce that today, the Supreme Court of Florida handed down a decision that the Court has deemed “of great public importance”.
In Dial v. Calusa Palms Master Ass’n, 308 So. 3d 690 (Fla. 2d DCA 2020), the Second District certified this question:
DOES THE HOLDING IN JOERG V. STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE CO., 176 SO. 3D 1247 (FLA. 2015), PROHIBITING THE INTRODUCTION OF EVIDENCE OF MEDICARE BENEFITS IN A PERSONAL INJURY CASE FOR PURPOSES OF A JURY’S CONSIDERATION OF FUTURE MEDICAL EXPENSES ALSO APPLY TO PAST MEDICAL EXPENSES?
The answer is NO.
Wicker Smith has represented Calusa Palms since 2015, making this an important and long-awaited decision. Retired Naples Partner Craig Ferrante handled the case at the trial court. Orlando Partner Michael D’Lugo handled the appeal to the Second District Court of Appeal and the Florida Supreme Court.
Medicare providers routinely bill patients for services in amounts that greatly exceed what Medicare will pay for those services. Those providers must accept the amount that Medicare pays in order to participate in the program. The issue presented is whether the jury hears what the provider billed, or what the provider accepted in full and final payment from Medicare. Today’s decision makes clear that the jury will only consider the amount the provider accepted as payment.
According to the Medicare Enrollment Dashboard, there are over 4.5 million Floridians who are Medicare beneficiaries. This opinion will therefore have a broad impact in lowering the amount of medical expenses the jury may consider.
To read the full Decision, click here: Supreme Court Opinion PDF