Florida’s complementary health care community is fighting a new law that prohibits the state’s massage therapists and acupuncturists from billing personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. Constitutional attorney Luke Lirot has filed a complaint for declatory and injunctive relief against Kevin, N. McCarty, in his capacity as commissioner of the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, in circuit court, on behalf of a group of massage therapists and chiropractors.
A copy of the complaint obtained by MASSAGE Magazine states that “the challenged legislation is invalid on a vast number of bases, generally summarized:
a. It violates the ‘single subject rule;’
b. It contains a variety of restrictions that are unnecessary and unreasonable;
c. It violates the equal protection rights of healthcare providers;
d. It denies due process of law;
e. It is based on unsupported statistical assumptions not the product of proper research methodology;
f. It unduly limits the rights of medical professionals and consumers;
g. It departs from the rationale originally relied on to support the ‘No-Fault’ regulations as a “sufficient alternative” to a party having access to the courts, and now results in a denial of access to the courts.
h. It violates the separation of powers doctrine by legislatively imposing a statute that determines the amount of ‘damages’ an injured party may obtain.”
The Florida State Massage Therapy Association (FSMTA) issued the following statement regarding the lawsuit:
“The Florida State Massage Therapy Association (FSMTA) supports the efforts being taken to challenge the PIP Act, which has had a major impact on the massage therapy profession. We have FSMTA members who are involved in this endeavor, and encourage any member who wishes to contribute to this challenge or to learn further information to review this site. The FSMTA is not affiliated with this organization, and is in no way responsible for the selection of Legal Counsel, or the outcome of the case. “
FSMTA has set up a fund to support the legal action (www.flpipdefensefund.com). (Editor’s note: MASSAGE Magazine has contributed to this fund.)