Should Employer's Lien Reduction Be Based on Ratio of Settlement Amount or the Percentage of Comparative Negligence ?
In Nikula [v. Michigan Mutual Insurance, 531 So. 2d 330 (Fla. 1988), this Court addressed whether, under the 1981 version of the statute, the employer's lien reduction should be based upon the ratio of settlement amount to full value rather than based on the percentage of comparative negligence. 531 So. 2d at 330.
The Court rejected the argument that the lien should be based on the percentage of the claimant's comparative negligence and instead held that the employer's lien "shall be based upon the ratio of settlement amount to full value of damages." Id. at 330-31.
Thus, the Court determined that the employer's lien should have been for "24% of benefits" because the employee received 24% of his total damages. Id. at 331.
In Manfredo [v. Employer's Casualty Insurance Co., 560 So. 2d 1162 (Fla. 1990), this Court interpreted both the 1981 and 1983 versions of the statute and again affirmed "that, using the ratio of net recovery to the judicially determined full value of the third-party claim, the carrier in this case is entitled to 32.7% of the amounts previously paid to Manfredo, and the carrier may deduct 32.7% from future payments to Manfredo." 560 So. 2d at 1165.