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The post below was published on Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 at 8:21 AM.

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Certified Conflict: Water Quality Assurance Act, Workers’ Compensation

Florida’s Water Quality Assurance Act provides those damaged by surface or ground water contamination with a strict liability cause of action against the property’s owner. The act expressly limits defenses to such claims to those described in the act, and the listing does not include immunity under the Workers’ Compensation Act.

Can workers’ compensation immunity be raised as a defense to a Water Quality Assurance Act claim?

In this decision, the Fifth District addressed that question and answered it in the affirmative. The court certified conflict with a 1990 First District decision that refused to permit a workers’ compensation immunity defense to be raised in response to a water quality claim. The Fifth District acknowledged that the First District case involved an allegedly intentional tort which would not have come within workers’ compensation immunity.

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