Micheal A. Edwards 

1550 Southern Blvd., Suite 300
West Palm Beach FL 33406

Phone:  561.686.5005 extension 1014

E-mail: micheal.edwards@petersonbernard.com

Micheal A. Edwards is a shareholder in the firm’s West Palm Beach office, and has represented employers and carriers throughout the state of Florida in his Workers’ Compensation defense practice for the past 39 years. Mr. Edwards has extensive trial and appellate experience including oral argument in the First and Fourth District Courts of Appeal. Mike’s practice also includes first party coverage issues, general coverage issues, pre-suit examination under oath investigation and litigation of first party claims and general liability. Mr. Edwards has been awarded the prestigious AV® Preeminent™ rating by Martindale-Hubbell.

 

State/Court Admissions

  • Florida Bar, 1977
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, 2010
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida 2011


Education/Background

  • Juris Doctorate, Florida State University College of Law, 1977
  • Bachelor of Science, Magna Cum Laude, Florida State University, College of Business, 1974
  • Judicial Research Aide for Industrial Relations Commission (Workers’ Compensation Appeals), 1975 - 1977 


Affiliations/Memberships

  • The Florida Bar
  • Board Certified in Workers’ Compensation, 1988 
  • Member of the Workers’ Compensation section of The Florida Bar 
  • Palm Beach County Bar Association 
  • AV® Preeminent™ rated by Martindale-Hubbell 


Reported Cases

 Lentini v. City of West Palm Beach – 980 So. 2d 1232 (Fla. 1st DCA 2008) 

Recent Cases

Micheal A. Edwards successfully defended an agricultural/trucking company on an appeal that was heard in the Florida Supreme Court and remanded to the First District Court of Appeal for decision. 

The elderly workers’ compensation claimant had sustained a closed head injury after being struck by a truck at work and was claiming permanent total disability and further medical care based upon hearing loss, vertigo, dementia and cognitive deficits. 

At trial, Mr. Edwards had successfully defended these claims which were denied in their entirety.  Potential exposure exceeded $350,000.

Micheal A. Edwards successfully defended a workers’ compensation claim by a 29 year old construction superintendent for permanent total disability and authorization of a psychiatrist.  The claimant sustained a crush injury to his foot resulting in Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).  The claimant alleged an inability to maintain sedentary employment due to the physical injuries and alleged cognitive difficulties as the result of prescription narcotic pain medications.  Before trial, claimant demanded $350,000 to settle the claim (which had potential exposure in excess of $700,000), and rejected a settlement offer of $175,000.  Following trial, at which conflicting factual, medical and vocational expert testimony was presented, the Judge of Compensation Claims denied all claims.

Micheal A. Edwards successfully defended a workers’ compensation claim by a 23 year old furniture mover for compensability of a back condition.  

The claimant allegedly injured his back while moving a sofa bed.  Employer witnesses contradicted the claimant’s testimony regarding the occurrence and reporting of an accident/injury at work.  

There was also conflicting medical testimony regarding objective evidence of a back injury.  Before trial, claimant demanded $50,000 to settle the claim and rejected a settlement offer of $5,000.  The Judge of Compensation Claims found that the claimant did not sustain an injury by accident in the course and scope of his employment and denied all claims.

Micheal A. Edwards, representing employer/carrier #2, successfully defended a contribution claim by employer/carrier #1 claiming 60 percent of the permanent total disability benefits that employer/carrier #1 was paying to the claimant.

Mr. Edwards was able to prove that the claimant was permanently and totally disabled based solely upon the back injury with employer/carrier #1, in spite of the fact that the claimant subsequently had a significant and disabling neck injury with his client, and that the decision by employer/carrier #1 to voluntarily accept permanent total disability was made without consideration of the subsequent neck injury. 

Therefore, the claim for contribution against our client was denied.

Micheal A. Edwards successfully defended a claim for permanent total disability filed by a former roofer who sustained a lumbar compression fracture and right knee injuries (surgically reconstructed) when he fell from a roof. 

Medical testimony was conflicting on all issues.  Mr. Edwards was able to show that degenerative conditions at multiple levels of the lumbar spine were unrelated to his work accident, and that the claimant was employable in spite of an inability to return to work as a roofer. 

The claims for permanent total disability and medical treatment of the unrelated lumbar conditions were denied.

Potential exposure for indemnity and medical benefits, attorney’s fees and costs exceeded $1 million and the settlement demand prior to trial was $800,000.

Micheal A. Edwards successfully defended a claim for permanent total disability filed by a former law enforcement officer with multiple accidents resulting in a two-level lumbar fusion, shoulder surgery and right knee injury. 

Claimant was granted a duty disability pension.  Initially claimant’s treating orthopedic surgeon and pain management specialist as well as the employer/carrier’s IME all opined that claimant was permanently and totally disabled. 

Surveillance indicated inconsistencies in the claimant’s complaints and ultimately the JCC found that by refusing a Functional Capacities Evaluation, the claimant failed to establish specific work restrictions that would prevent his re-employment in a light duty capacity.

Future PTD benefits for the 45 year old claimant over his life expectancy exceeded $2 million.