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Another ray of hope for Florida's Major Contributing Cause defense.

July 1, 2018
Ryals v. Escambia County Board of Commissioners and Florida League of Cities, 1D17-2395 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2018)

On April 30, 2014, the claimant sustained injuries to his neck and low back in an explosion. The employer accepted compensability and authorized care. It was undisputed that the claimant had pre-existing degenerative disc disease, which was asymptomatic at the time of the accident. In 2016, the employer asserted that the claimant’s low back condition had returned to his pre-existing baseline and denied continuing care. Although there were differing opinions between the doctors, neither party requested an EMA, leaving the Judge of Compensation Claims to weigh the evidence. The employer asserted a major contributing cause defense, and the claimant did not raise the 120-day provision. Judge of Compensation Claims Winn found that, because the claimant had not voiced any complaints of low back pain over a period of 11 months, the low back injury had resolved. Judge Winn denied compensability of the low back along with the request for pain management. On appeal, the First District Court of Appeal confirmed.


Case Law Alerts, 3rd Quarter, July 2018

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