Judge Lewis Vacated the State's Right to an Automatic Freeze of His Order
Judge Lewis vacated the State’s Right to an Automatic Freeze of His Earlier Ruling
Here is a timeline of events:
- The Plaintiffs (a chiro, LMT, and DOM) filed a lawsuit stating the new PIP law was unconstitutional
- The Office of Insurance Regulation said it was not.
- Judge Lewis agreed with the Plaintiffs that two parts were unconstitutional: (1) the emergency medical condition and (2) not reimbursing for massage and acupuncture.
- Their is a rule that allows Florida governmental agencys like the Office of Insurance Regulation to file an “automatic stay” which will freeze/pause a Judge’s decision. The Office of Insurance Regulation asked for the “automatic stay.
- The Plaintiffs asked Judge Lewis to “pause” the Office of Insurance Regulation’s “pause”. A hearing took place on April 1, 2013.
- On April 17, 2013, Judge Lewis ruled in favor of the Plaintiffs and basically made his initial ruling (that new PIP was unconstitutional) effective immediately.
What does this mean?
Judge Lewis said new PIP is unconstitutional. Here is what that means:
(1) the Florida Legislators are planning on completely eliminating PIP in response to Judge Lewis’ ruling. They feel like they tried to fix PIP and “those crafty doctors” found a way around it. Now they are going to screw the doctors out of PIP completely.
(2) Judge Lewis can only do things that will control his county; Leon County. If you aren’t in Leon County then new PIP is constitutional. Judge Lewis is only a circuit court judge (lower level).
(3) The case is on appeal in the First District Court of Appeal. This case will take at least 6 months to resolve. In the meantime, the Florida Legislature has the option (if they get the votes) to repeal PIP and replace it with mandatory BI.