Should Award for Future Medical Damages Be Reduced by the Amount of the Remaining Pip Benefits ?
In Rollins v. Pizzarelli No. SC92080, 761 So. 2d 294, (Fla. May 4, 2000), the court held that under section 627.736(3), Florida Statutes (1991), an award for future medical damages should not be reduced by the amount of a plaintiff's remaining PIP benefits.
Based on Rollins, we therefore approve the Fourth District's decision in Rudnick on this issue.
The Fourth District's opinion also held that the plaintiff's remaining medpay benefits could not be set off against damages for future medical expenses that have not yet been incurred. See Rudnick, 706 So. 2d at 391.
This portion of the district court's opinion conflicts with the opinion of the First District in King v. Burch, 724 So. 2d 1237, 1238 (Fla. 1st DCA 1999), over the interpretation given to the term "otherwise available" in section 768.76(1), Florida Statutes (1993), the general collateral source statute.
Specifically, the district courts are in conflict on the question of whether under section 768.76(1) remaining medpay benefits must be set off from the jury's verdict for future medical expenses. Compare Rudnick, 706 So. 2d at 390-91, and White v. Westlund, 624 So. 2d 1148, 1150 (Fla. 4th DCA 1993), with King, 724 So. 2d at 1238.
Because we have jurisdiction in this case on the basis of a certified conflict, we have the discretion to address this issue. See PK Ventures, Inc. v. Raymond James & Assocs., Inc., 690 So. 2d 1296, 1297 n.2 (Fla. 1997).