Almost 15 years ago, the late Florida Supreme Court Justice James C. Adkins warned the state’s workers’ compensation laws were being applied so unfairly that employers enjoyed “a license to maim and kill.”

This month, a new Supreme Court moved to revoke that license by allowing the widow of a Gainesville-area chemical worker to take her tort lawsuit to a jury. The March 2 opinion reversed a 1st District Court of Appeal decision and receded from decades of previous rulings by Florida judges.

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