What Is the Amount of Damages That Injured Plaintiffs Can Recover or Claim from Pip Benefits ?
In Purdy v. Gulf Breeze Enterprises, Inc., 403 So. 2d 1325 (Fla. 1981), the court upheld the constitutionality of section 627.737(3) because it simply reduced the amount of damages injured plaintiffs can recover by the amount of PIP benefits "they have received." Purdy , 403 So. 2d at 1327.
In discussing the provisions of section 627.737(3) in effect at that time, the court stated that "to prevent the injured persons from receiving double recovery, the legislature has provided that any PIP benefits they have received from their insurers will be set off from the amount they are entitled to recover from the tort-feasors." Purdy , 403 So. 2d at 1329.
Thus, in Purdy there was an implicit assumption that "payable" was limited to those expenses already incurred.
More recently, in Mansfield v. Rivero, 620 So. 2d 987 (Fla. 1993), the court confronted the issue of whether a plaintiff, by failing to claim PIP benefits, could avoid the setoff provisions of section 627.736(3).
The parties had stipulated to the amount of past medical expenses, and the jury found in a special verdict that the plaintiff "had incurred" expenses in that amount. See Mansfield, 620 So. 2d at 988.
Thus, the only issue in Mansfield was whether there should be a setoff for 80% of the incurred expenses for which there was PIP coverage.
The court does not find that our construction of the term "payable," which is the precise issue we are asked to resolve in this case, is contrary to previous cases interpreting this subsection.