Artigas v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., WINN-DIXIE

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtBOOTH
Citation14 Fla. L. Weekly 1289,544 So.2d 1051
Parties14 Fla. L. Weekly 1289 Miguel A. ARTIGAS, Appellant, v.STORES, INC. and Crawford and Company, Appellees.
Docket NumberNo. 87-1044,WINN-DIXIE,87-1044
Decision Date25 May 1989

Page 1051

544 So.2d 1051
14 Fla. L. Weekly 1289
Miguel A. ARTIGAS, Appellant,
WINN-DIXIE STORES, INC. and Crawford and Company, Appellees.
No. 87-1044.
District Court of Appeal of Florida,
First District.
May 25, 1989.

Alex Lancaster of Alex Lancaster, P.A., Sarasota, for appellant.

Claire L. Hamner of Dickinson, O'Riorden, Gibbons, Quale, Shields & Carlton, P.A., Sarasota, for appellees.

BOOTH, Judge.

This cause is before us on appeal of an order of the deputy commissioner denying requested benefits for lack of evidence. For the following reasons, we reverse.

Claimant was injured unloading produce from the employer's truck in August 1983. Although the injury was to his spine, he soon began developing related mental problems. According to Dr. Lose, a psychiatrist whose testimony the deputy accepted in an earlier order, claimant currently suffers from posttraumatic psychosis. Symptoms include extreme paranoia, delusional, fragmented thinking, depression, and suicidal and homicidal inclinations. Claimant's condition seems to have worsened steadily during the several years since his injury, although he has been at physical maximum medical improvement since October 1986.

Although the deputy found that claimant's psychiatric condition was related to his compensable injury and ordered psychiatric treatment, claimant stopped seeing authorized psychiatrists after a few initial visits. The record reflects that during this time, he was "Baker Acted" for the first of

Page 1052

several times. Ultimately, doctors treating claimant for compensable physical problems found him impossible to work with and refused to treat him further. Claimant's attorney also withdrew from representation in 1986.

After 1986, claimant had no attorney and was unable to find one. Although the deputy found in several prior orders that claimant was incompetent to represent himself in his compensation proceeding, claimant did represent himself because he had no one else. The employer/carrier stopped paying temporary benefits in October 1986, and claimant filed his own request for permanent disability or other, alternative benefits.

The deputy entered an order in July 1987 denying all benefits. In August 1987, new counsel appeared on claimant's behalf to request that the merits order be temporarily vacated. Counsel hoped to obtain a circuit court determination of incompetency and appointment of a guardian. After hearing argument, the deputy declined the request,...

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2 cases
  • Artigas v. Winn Dixie Stores, Inc., 91-4179
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • August 10, 1993
    ...unable to represent himself, the JCC denied the request. This order was appealed. On May 25, 1989, in Artigas v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., 544 So.2d 1051 (Fla.1st DCA 1981), (Artigas I), this court found that the JCC erred in refusing to determine the competency of the claimant, and that the......
  • Artigas v. Winn Dixie Stores, Inc., 89-2155
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • April 9, 1991
    ...a new order in accordance with this opinion. This case, which was the subject of an earlier appeal, Artigas v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., 544 So.2d 1051 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989), involves a claimant who was injured unloading produce from his employer's truck in August of 1983. Although the initial......

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