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Chiropractor’s Challenge To ‘PIP’ Law Rejected

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Rejecting arguments by a chiropractor, a South Florida appeals court Wednesday upheld part of a 2012 overhaul of the state's person-injury protection auto insurance system.

The ruling by the 3rd District Court of Appeal focused on part of the law that limit's so-called "PIP" benefits to $2,500 for non-emergency conditions. Chiropractor Eduardo Garrido treated Alejandro Godoy after an accident in 2013 and submitted invoices totaling $6,075 to Godoy's insurer, Progressive American Insurance Company, according to Wednesday's ruling.

Progressive paid $2,500 but declined to pay more because a physician had not determined that Godoy suffered from an emergency condition. Garrido filed a lawsuit in Miami-Dade County seeking a determination that the insurer should pay up to the policy limit of $10,000 and challenging the constitutionality of the law because it bars chiropractors from diagnosing patients with emergency conditions.

A county judge ruled that the law was unconstitutional and that Garrido should be paid more than $2,500. But in the 14-page ruling Wednesday, a panel of the appeals court overturned the lower-court decision. In part, the appeals court pointed to legislative arguments that the 2012 law was intended to help prevent fraud in the PIP insurance system.