ERROR TO IMPOSE §57.105 FEES WHEN THERE WAS NO BASIS TO SUPPORT A DETERMINATION THAT THE MOTION TO DETERMINE THE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LIEN WAS FRIVOLOUS
Preferred Government Insurance Trust v. Aelion, 45 Fla, Weekly D1772 (Fla. 3rd DCA July 22, 2020):
Under §57.105, the trial court may impose sanctions on an attorney for a frivolous filing, where the claim was not supported by the material facts necessary to establish the claim or would not be supported by the application of then-existing law. The courts have defined “frivolous” as a claim that “presents no justiciable question and is so devoid of merit on the face of the record that there is little prospect it will ever succeed.”
In this case, while the work comp carrier did not ultimately prevail on its argument (unspecified in the case as to what that argument was) it was not so clearly devoid of merit as to be completely untenable, and thus the imposition of §57.105 was erroneous.