In Soca v. Advanced Auto Parts, an auto parts store employee was apparently injured during a robbery at work. Following the incident, the man filed three petitions for workers’ compensation benefits. Soon afterward, the man’s employer provided him with the benefits he requested, and the worker withdrew his petitions.
Next, the employer sought to tax the worker for costs under Section 440.34(3) of the Florida Statutes. Under the law, the nonprevailing party in a proceeding before a Judge of Compensation Claims (“JCC”) is required to pay the “reasonable costs” associated with the proceedings. According to the employer, the company was clearly the prevailing party in the workers’ compensation proceedings. The employee responded by filing a motion for sanctions against his employer pursuant to Section 440.32. In his motion, the worker argued the costs sought by his employer could not have been incurred in the company’s defense against his petition for workers’ compensation benefits.