Ball v. Mann

Decision Date24 September 1954
PartiesFrederick J. BALL, Petitioner, v. J. MANN, Indemnity Insurance Company of North America, and Florida IndustrialCommission, Respondents.
CourtFlorida Supreme Court

Charles J. Bodner, Miami, for petitioner.

Lawrence G. Lally, Miami, Burnis T. Coleman and Rodney Durrance, Tallahassee, for respondents.

DREW, Justice.

Claimant, a carpenter, suffered a back injury for which he received compensation at the maximum rate of $35 weekly for temporary total disability under an order of the Deputy Commissioner entered January 31, 1953.

On December 31, 1953, pursuant to a hearing at the employer's application, the Deputy Commissioner found in substance that claimant had reached maximum recovery on October 27, 1953 and that he suffered 'permanent partial disability of the body as a whole of 20% thereof,' and the Deputy Commissioner ordered payment to claimant for permanent partial disability of the body as a whole to the extent of 20%.

The Full Commission affirmed the order of the Deputy Commissioner. Claimant, in seeking review by certiorari of that order, contends here, as he did before the Full Commission, that the award is contrary to law because it is based upon impairment of body function instead of upon impairment of earning capacity.

The compensation for permanent partial disability is prescribed in Section 440.15(3), F.S.1951, F.S.A. Injuries specifically scheduled in this section are to be compensated by payment of sixty per cent of the employee's average weekly wage for the number of weeks specifically set forth for each described type of injury. Injuries not scheduled, such as the one here involved, are described as 'other cases'; and for these compensation in the amount of sixty per cent of the employee's average weekly wage is to be paid 'for such number of weeks as the injured employee's percentage of disability is of three hundred fifty weeks.' Section 440.15(3)(u).

The last quoted sub-paragraph must be read in pari materia with Section 440.02(9), F.S.1951, F.S.A., which defines the word 'disability' as used in the Workmen's Compensation Law to mean 'incapacity because of the injury to earn in the same or any other employment the wages which the employee was receiving at the time of the injury.' Upon alignment of this definition of disability along with the quoted language of Section 440.15(3)(u), supra, it is clear that the word 'disability' as there used refers to diminution of capacity to earn resulting from a physical impairment caused by the injury to the body and not merely to the physical impairment itself. These two concepts are distinctly different; and under our Workmen's Compensation Law, compensation is limited in these 'other cases' to compensation for diminution of earning capacity. See Rosier v. Roofing & Sheet Metal Supply Co., Fla., 1949, 41 So.2d 308.

The difference is important because decreased earning capacity is not necessarily proportional to general physical functional impairment. See Crow v. Industrial Commission, 104 Utah 333, 140 P.2d 321, 148 A.L.R. 316, 318. And no one standard is conclusive in the determination of the degree of incapacity to earn the same wages as prior to an injury. Instead there should be taken into consideration, among other things, such variables as the injured employee's physical condition, age, industrial history, education, and inability to obtain the type of work which ...

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78 cases
  • Foxworth v. Florida Indus. Com'n
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 27 Mayo 1955
    ...the award, the cause should be remanded with instructions to the Deputy to make adequate findings of fact from the evidence. Ball v. Mann, Fla.1954, 75 So.2d 758. In no event should this Court grope through the record to make findings of fact thereby doing the task which by statute and our ......
  • Chavarria v. Selugal Clothing, Inc.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 3 Febrero 2003
    ...recognized this in a line of cases examining the requirements applicable to orders drafted by compensation judges. A. In Ball v. Mann, 75 So.2d 758 (Fla. 1954), the court reviewed an order of the full Industrial Commission that had affirmed an order of the deputy commissioner. In language c......
  • Scholastic Systems, Inc. v. LeLoup, 45320
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 24 Octubre 1974
    ...fact that the Commissioners are now full-time lawyers, we feel compelled to reevaluate our prior decisions of Ball v. Mann, supra; (75 So.2d 758 (Fla.)) Hardy v. City of Tarpon Springs, supra, (81 So.2d 503, (Fla.)) and Brown v. Griffin, supra (229 So.2d 225 (Fla.)) respecting requirements ......
  • Batte v. Stanley's
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • 14 Agosto 1962
    ...the rule that a finding of reduction in earning capacity does not follow from a finding of impairment of body function. Ball v. Mann (Fla.1954), 75 So.2d 758; Horace Z. Brunson Plumbing & Heating Company v. Mellander (Fla.1961), 130 So.2d 273; Shaffer v. Midland Empire Packing Co., 127 Mont......
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