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Court offers ray of hope in the major contributing cause defense.

April 1, 2018
Teco Energy, Inc. v. Williams, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D2663 (Fla. 1st DCA Dec. 19, 2017)

The 1st DCA held that the 120-day defense must be timely and specifically plead by claimants and may not be raised sua sponte by the Judge of Compensation Claims. The court held that the claimant’s pre-existing osteoarthritis was a qualifying pre-existing condition and was not the major contributing cause of the need for total knee replacement. The court stated that “[t]he inquiry is whether the condition independently required treatment either before or after the compensable accident.” This differs from the previous analysis held in Osceola County Sch. Bd. v. Pabellon-Nieves, which stated that a pre-existing condition under 440.09(1)(b) must have required “some level of treatment” before the workplace accident in question. 

 

Case Law Alerts, 2nd Quarter, April 2018

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