Joseph Guerrera v. Becton Dickinson & Co. and Sedgwick CMS

In Joseph Guerrera v. Becton Dickinson & Co. and Sedgwick CMS Claimant challenges an order of the JCC denying Claimant’s verified petition for attorney’s fees. Counsel for the claimant secured an increase in the AWW but the JCC denied E/C-paid fee entitled finding that “no actual or real benefit was secured”. The court found reversible error because, even though Claimant had received disability benefits since the date of accident at the maximum compensation rate, the AWW adjustment increased the 80% “threshold” for TPD entitlement. The JCC also denied fee entitlement for securing the AWW increase on grounds the increase was smaller than what Claimant had sought. The law does not require an exact match between the claim and the award. The court affirmed the denial of fees on penalties and interest without comment. AFFIRMED in part, REVERSED in part and REMANDED for further proceedings.

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