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Thanks, Jimmy.

(Edited to correct my error, Jimmy Morales is a woman.  MY apologies to Ms Morales for mis-identifying her.)

This morning’s WorkCompCentral brings us a report that Miami Beach’s City Manager is rejecting two police officers’ work comp claims for coverage due to Zika infections.

Reportedly the officers work in Zika-infected areas, but the mosquito has not been found where they live.

City Manager Jimmy Morales refuses to cover these cases, saying:

“He/she must show that the exposure/bite took place while on duty and identify the specific infected mosquito,”

To be fair to Ms Morales, she claims that the two officers have yet to comply with requirements to submit full medical documentation.  If that is the case, then they need to do so. HOWEVER her “requirement” that the officers bring the the specific infected mosquitoes isn’t just ludicrous, it also makes her – and her city – out to be heartless, uncaring bureaucrats.

If Ms Morales wants to perpetuate the meme that workers’ comp folks are heartless, penny-pinching, claim-denying, conniving, scheming bastards,s he’s nailing it. I don’t think that’s Ms Morales’ intention, and I’m hoping she mistakenly relied on a legal interpretation in a misguided attempt to stick to the “letter of the law.”

Ms Morales has not only damaged her relationship with his City’s police force, she’s also provided system detractors with yet another iconic example of how work comp is grossly unfair. And she’s done this in Florida, where the workers’ comp system is already on shaky ground.

Thanks, Jimmy. 

What does this mean for you?

People, please think before you act. You can’t unring the bell, take back what you said, or in this case claim you were misquoted.


Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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