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Florida: 52-Week Filing Requirement for First Responder PTSD Claim Runs From Qualifying Event

December 26, 2020 (1 min read)

The 52-week filing requirement related to first responder PTSD claims in § 112.1815(5)(d), Fla. Stat., runs from the date of the qualifying event specified in the statute and not from the date the first responder manifests PTSD symptoms, held a Florida appellate court. Accordingly, under the facts of the case, where the first responder witnessed an adolescent's drowning in 2015, but did not manifest PTSD symptoms until 2019, his petition for benefits filed shortly thereafter was not timely under the statute. The court also stressed that the issue turned, in pertinent part, on whether the 52-week provision was a statute of limitations or merely a statute of repose. Holding that it was a statute of repose, the court stressed that although its effect might be to eliminate a cause of action before it accrues, a statute of repose was not unconstitutional as a denial of equal protection, due process, or access to courts.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Palm Beach Cty. Fire Rescue v. Wilkes, 2020 Fla. App. LEXIS 17726 (1st DCA, Dec. 14, 2020)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, §§ 100.05, 126.06.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see

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