It’s not that the wind is blowing


In Long v. City of Melbourne, OJCC No. 19-016164, the judge discusses Valcourt-Williams and an idiopathic condition. The worker suffered a collapsed arch and the risk was that “walking, jogging or climbing stairs” could result in such injuries. The judge suggests that one of these risks could be an occupational risk, but concluded that the worker had to prove that such a risk was a risk that the worker “would not normally face[”duringhisnon-employmentactivities”[ »pendantsesactivitésdenon-emploi»Àcestadelejugeatrouvélapreuvenonconvaincanteetaniél’indemnisation

In Young v. CEMEX, OJCC n ° 19-005255, the judge denied compensation for an injury in which “the worker’s knee jumped while he was simply walking on flat ground”. In doing so, the judge determined credibility and discussed the claimant’s testimony as to when the “pop” occurred, that is, while he was pivoting or subsequently while ‘He was walking. Despite this, the order grants compensation until the date on which the employer / carrier files a “Notice of Denial of the Entire Claim”. No benefit was granted.

In Marrero v. DR Horton, OJCC n ° 19-023521, the judge refused compensation. There is discussion of employment deviation, but with the knowledge of the employer. The order essentially illustrates a factual dispute involving an off-establishment motor vehicle accident, and a credibility analysis that ended in disbelief in the plaintiff’s testimony regarding the business purpose of a trip. Although “arising from” is mentioned, it is actually more a decision of credibility and / or “direction and reach”.

Soya v. Health First, OJCC No. 20-008027 involved a fall for unknown reasons. The best evidence is essentially that the fall occurred, possibly because a shoe momentarily “stuck” to the ground. Valcourt-Williams’ defense regarding “arising from” was raised. It is possible that the case revolved around whether the worker had left and returned to collect personal items (the “forgotten asylum seekers cases”), but the judge was not convinced. The judge concluded that there was no “condition that would substantially contribute to the risk of injury” and denied compensation. There is an interesting discussion on the distinction of Vigliotti v. K-Mart, 680 So. 2d 466 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996), which makes a distinction as to the known or unknown cause of the fall, but which does not dispute Vigliotti’s “major contributory cause” distinction (the Vigliotti tribunal overturned without addressing the MCC, leaving it for the judge to rule on the pre-trial detention) mentioned in Santiago, supra.

In Silverberg v. Palm Beach School Board, OJCC No.19-006573, the judge found that the worker was “at or on his usual desk” and “in his usual chair”. His leg went numb, and as he stood up, the numb leg “gave way.” Finding no “higher risk of injury than they would have had in a lifetime without a job,” the judge concluded that the employee’s “routine movements” did not affect the risk. employment. The claim was found to be non-compensable.

In Rodgers v. Winn Dixie Stores, OJCC # 20-010060, the judge interpreted Valcourt-Williams as “strongly reaffirming the legal requirement” to “result from” and the “substantial contribution to the risk of injury. The worker was on hiatus (suggesting personal comfort and the “course and scope” discussion). He remembered reaching for the refrigerator door, then “being on the floor surrounded by paramedics.” No doubt about the fall and the injury (that), but the judge concluded that the question was why there had been a fall. The argument apparently centered significantly on the fact that the fall was “unexplained” and cited Caputo v. ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, 93 So. 3d 1097 (Fla. 1er DCA 2012) and Ross v. Charlotte Public Schools, 100 So. 3d 781 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019) (essentially the same “troika” cited in Santiago, supra) and Sentry Insurance v. Hamlin, 69 n / a. 3d 1065 (1st DCA 2011). Rejecting that “no fault” is synonymous with “no professional cause”, the judge denied compensation. This is apparently a finding that the worker must prove the element of professional cause.

In Rosa v. Salvation Army, OJCC # 20-008766, the judge suggests that Valcourt-Williams establish “different standards as to the degree” of “arising from”. The judge noted that the job must present a risk, but also that an “applicant would not normally be exposed (to) during his life without employment”. Thus, not only the risk, but the “occupational risk”. The parties argued on the basis of the judge’s decision in Santiago, supra. Finding that there was credible evidence of something “sticky” on the floor, the judge concluded that this claim was compensable. It is questionable whether sticky floors are not ordinary in jobless life, and others will question whether the court’s interpretation in Vigliotti is relevant to such a conclusion.

In Ugalde v. Garden of Memories, OJCC n ° 18-14602. The judge discusses the potential for workplace hazards at length, largely in Medeiros v. Residential Communities of America, 481 So. 2d 92 (Fla. 1st DCA 1986); Hernando County School Board v. Dokoupil, 667 So. 2d 275 (Fla. 1st DCA 1995) and the precedent cited therein (note Foxworth v. Florida Industrial Commission, 86 So. 2d 147 (Fla. 1955). The evidence showed a fall and a job, and the judge found the circumstance of The fall was critical in Valcourt-Williams’ “arising from” analysis. The question, according to that decision, is whether work was a cause of the fall. The judge found that it was was the case in this case and ordered benefits.

In Galas v. Winn Dixie, OJCC # 19-029119, the judge concluded that the accident “was pivoting on his leg to return to his place of work”. Finding the worker credible, the judge concluded that the time limits on the work to be done (unloading the truck), a “pace that he would not use in his normal life outside of work” satisfied the legal burden of a ” increased risk () associated with its use.

In Tola v. Winn Dixie, OJCC # 19-016663, an analysis concludes that the Valcourt-Williams court “strayed from a number of earlier decisions”, which did not effectively address “arising from”. There is also a discussion of idiopathic injuries, and the same three cases are cited elsewhere (“Caputo, Walker and Ross”). Finding that the worker was walking to the counter to help a customer and that he did not have an unexplained collapse, but tripped and fell, the judge found the accident to be compensable. This could be a case of a “rhythm” similar to Galas.

In Luraschi v. Blacktip Services, OJCC n ° 19-028322, the judge found that the claim was compensable under the “rule of the place” since the injured worker was going to the workplace, but was already at the employer’s premises. when she encountered a “danger sign” near where she fell and video evidence demonstrated a slip “at or near the danger sign area”. The precise nature of the danger is far from clear, but the sign seems to signal the existence of a danger. The judge awarded benefits.

Rivera v. International Paper Co., OJCC # 20-006618 concludes that the condition of the ground, the work area, created a risk “not something you do in a life of non-employment”. The ruling includes a discussion of many of the same precedents and correctly notes “it is not enough to say that a trip and fall on the job is a” trip and fall in the workplace. ” The judge seems to conclude that characterizations and labels give way to facts and circumstances; that is, a fall in labor, not just during labor (course and scope).

In Crouse v. Precision Mechanical, OJCC NO 19-031519, the judge cited Valcourt-Williams and the requirements “flowing from”. Noting that the worker fell, “while carrying a 20 foot long metal pipe over rough terrain,” and concluded that this met the hazard requirement. Benefits have been awarded.

Push / Pull

In Wall v. Staff Zone, OJCC # 19-032768, the judge presents a brief discussion on Vigliotti and Valcourt-Williams. The judge found that there had been an event at work, pushing a pallet, and medical evidence supported that this was the main contributing cause for the onset of symptoms.

Course and scope

Castano v. Nobel Learning, OJCC Case No 20-006592 engages Hamlin’s analysis and discusses Valcourt-Williams. In particular, it examines the course and scope with respect to a firearm discharge and causing injury. The conclusion is based on various findings regarding heckling, personal comfort, and the presence of risk (Hamlin’s three-risk analysis). The judge concluded that the accident “was not due to his employment”.

Rodriguez v. Sunrise Landscaping Contractors, OJCC No. 18-028462 (February 9, 2021) involved a man provided housing by the employer, and the so-called “dormitory rule”. The employer relied on the “arising from” defense. One of the most intriguing quotes is Inmon v. Convergence Emp. Leasing III, Inc., 243 So. 3d 1046, 1048 (Fla. 1er DCA 2018). There, an employee was struck while walking “on US Highway 1”. The court focused on the intoxication defense and the stacking of inferences (which Rodriguez’s JCC focused on). However, no one raised the “arising from” defense in Inmon. In Rodriguez, the judge found that the accident was compensable because it “arose” from employment, because the event “arose from the location” of the “bunkhouse” provided by the employer. This wording (“location”) can be confused with “course and scope”, but this is just a coincidence.

In Anders v. Shawn’s Deli, Inc., OJCC # 18-029274, the judge discusses Valcourt-Williams in the context of “occupational causation” which is “a risk that does not exist in the non-employment life of the claimant”. Quoting Hamlin, there is a review of the three categories of risk. Rejecting the argument that the evidence showed a “criminal past”, the judge concluded that “some jobs are more prone to assault in the workplace than others”. The judge did not find that the worker’s duties “increased (d) his risk” of being shot, but that the “claimant’s employment environment” in fact did. Finding that it was an occupational risk, the judge concluded that the claim was compensable and awarded benefits. In a different context, violence rather than fall, this analysis is reasonably consistent with that above in Rosa (sticky floors), Ugalde (distraction from colleagues), Galas and Tola (pace of work); Luraschi (risk not identified but warned), Rivera (state of the ground) and Crouse (20 foot pipe).

Coming back to Ron White, “it’s (apparently) not that” the ankle twists, the arch collapses, the knee jumps or the person falls, that’s “why” these things happen. In examining these various decisions, the “why” seems to be the critical element. Stairs, are they something we can come across anywhere, does that mean climbing stairs at work cannot cause an “occurring” injury? The above first instance decisions do not seem to suggest this. The evolution is before us however, and there is the possibility of further explanations from the court and the judges.

By Justice David Langham


About Yvonne Lozier

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