Bray v. Electronic Door-Lift, Inc., DOOR-LIF

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtJOANOS
Citation558 So.2d 43
Parties15 Fla. L. Weekly D37 George BRAY, Appellant, v. ELECTRONIC, Executive Risk and The Division of Workers' Compensation, Appellee.
Decision Date20 December 1989
Docket NumberDOOR-LIF,INC,No. 89-249

Page 43

558 So.2d 43
15 Fla. L. Weekly D37
George BRAY, Appellant,
v.
ELECTRONIC DOOR-LIFT, INC., Executive Risk and The Division of Workers' Compensation, Appellee.
No. 89-249.
District Court of Appeal of Florida,
First District.
Dec. 20, 1989.
Rehearing Denied April 4, 1990.

Page 44

Joseph L. Daye, Fort Lauderdale, for appellant.

Lori M. Ferman, of Conroy, Simberg & Lewis, P.A., Hollywood, for appellee.

JOANOS, Judge.

Claimant George Bray appeals workers' compensation orders denying the compensability of his claim and refusing to grant his motion for rehearing on the basis of newly discovered evidence. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

The record reflects that claimant fell at work on April 18, 1988, as he and a fellow employee attempted to place a finished garage door on a push cart. Claimant fell backwards, first striking his back on the cart, and then striking his head and back on the concrete floor. Upon ascertaining that claimant's back was bleeding, his supervisor obtained the company medical kit from the office, and applied ointment and a bandage to claimant's back. Claimant did not report the injury, because he did not consider it serious. He continued to perform the same job duties for the next five to six weeks. However, during that time his legs began to hurt, he experienced difficulty in walking, and he developed a sensation of numbness in his leg. Subsequently, claimant's arm became numb, he developed a burning sensation in his elbow, and the back of his neck became painful.

Claimant saw Dr. Myers on May 31 and June 7, 1988. He paid cash for his first visit to Dr. Myers's office. Claimant testified that at that time he did not tell Dr. Myers that he had incurred a work-related injury, because the doctor did not ask. During his second visit, Dr. Myers asked claimant whether he had fallen at any time and hit his head or had an accident involving his back or spine. Claimant advised the doctor that he had fallen at work some five or six weeks before. Also during the second visit, the question of workers' compensation arose, when the doctor's secretary inquired about the manner of payment.

The record further reflects that Dr. Myers, a general practitioner, first treated claimant in 1979 for vertigo related to a urinary tract infection. In 1980-1981, Dr. Myers treated claimant for polycythmia vera, a condition in which the system manufactures too much blood. In 1985, Dr. Myers saw claimant for complaints of left arm numbness. When a lateral cervical spine x-ray appeared normal, Dr. Myers prescribed a muscle relaxant and referred claimant to Dr. Steingo, a neurologist. Dr. Myers did not see claimant again until 1988, when he presented with the complaints of dizziness and problems with walking and falling which form the predicate for this appeal. Dr. Myers's deposition testimony indicates that the notes he

Page 45

made of the history he took from claimant concerning claimant's current medical problems placed the fall at work as six months prior to his examination of claimant, rather than the five or six weeks indicated by claimant's testimony and the testimony of his co-employees. Dr. Myers recommended a neurological examination and a brain scan. Claimant was walking so abnormally that Dr. Myers thought his problem might be a brain tumor. According to Dr. Myers, claimant had not related any prior history of a fall, or back or neck injury in the years Dr. Myers had been treating him.

On June 13 and 20, 1988, claimant was seen by Dr. Steingo, a neurologist. Claimant told Dr. Steingo of falling backwards at work, striking his back, neck, and head against a cart and then the concrete floor. Claimant's main complaint to Dr. Steingo was that his left leg was weak, and that it gave way at times, and dragged at times. Dr. Steingo ordered an MRI scan, which revealed a predominantly left-sided herniated disc at C5/6 level. Dr. Steingo said there was nothing in the history claimant related prior to 1988 that involved this condition. According to Dr. Steingo, a fall such as the one claimant described can produce a herniated disc.

The testimony of claimant's co-employees corroborated the general circumstances of claimant's fall, and the fact that his back bled as a result of a cut suffered in the fall. The co-employees expressed some uncertainty concerning the date of the fall. One thought the accident happened sometime in early April 1988; another thought it occurred in January or February of 1988.

On January 25, 1989, the judge of compensation claims entered an order finding that claimant did not suffer a compensable accident, and that his medical condition was due to personal factors unrelated to the employment. The order further found that the testimony was inconsistent, in that "the specific actions of the claimant in seeking payment initially by the group insurance carrier and in failing to give a history to Dr. Myers are specifically inconsistent with his present claim."

On February 6, 1989, claimant filed a motion for rehearing, on the basis of newly found evidence, i.e., witness Herno Exalus, who had been unavailable at the time of the hearing. Exalus had worked with claimant and had witnessed claimant's fall at work. On February 9, 1989, claimant filed a motion to perpetuate the testimony of Herno Exalus, on the ground that Exalus, a resident alien of Jamaican descent, might leave the jurisdiction.

At the hearing on the newly discovered evidence question, telephone testimony was received from the private investigator retained by claimant's attorney to locate Exalus and obtain a statement from him prior to the December 19, 1988, merits hearing. The investigator ascertained Exalus's correct address, but found no one at home when he went there on December 2, 1988. The telephone was temporarily out of order, so the investigator was unable to establish telephone contact with Exalus at that time. The investigator finally reached Exalus by telephone, and made an appointment to meet him at his home at 7:00 p.m. on...

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14 practice notes
  • Ullman v. City of Tampa Parks Dept., No. 91-3048
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 15, 1993
    ...explanation for doing so, and cites Philpot v. City of Miami, 541 So.2d 680 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989); Bray v. Electronic Door-Lift, Inc., 558 So.2d 43 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989); Severini v. Pan American Beauty School, Inc., 557 So.2d 896 (Fla. 1st DCA 1990); and Lindsay v. TVS Trucking Co., 565 So.2d ......
  • Sch. Dist. of Indian River County/Ascension Benefits Ins. v. Cruce, No. 1D17-3342
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • November 27, 2019
    ...with the employee. See Alston v. Etcetera Janitorial Servs. , 634 So. 2d 1133, 1134 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994) ; Bray v. Elec. Door-Lift, Inc. , 558 So. 2d 43, 45-46 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989) ; Deahl v. Uni-Pak Corp., 550 So. 2d 122, 123-24 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989) ; Ralosky v. Dynamic Builders, Inc. , 500 S......
  • Stacy v. Venice Isles Mobile Home Park, No. 92-2328
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • April 27, 1994
    ...claimant's aggravated condition. It appears to me that the facts in this case are similar to those in Bray v. Electronic Door-Lift, Inc., 558 So.2d 43 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989), and, therefore, the rule stated therein should control the instant case. In Bray, Page 1044 this court, speaking throug......
  • Fritz v. Courtyard By Marriott, No. 91-530
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • January 14, 1992
    ...of one doctor over that of others, he must give reasons therefor that are supported by the record. Bray v. Elec. Door-Lift, Inc., 558 So.2d 43, 46 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989); Calleyro v. Mt. Sinai Hosp., 504 So.2d 1336, 1337 (Fla. 1st DCA), review denied, 513 So.2d 1062 (Fla.1987). The reasons mus......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
14 cases
  • Ullman v. City of Tampa Parks Dept., No. 91-3048
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 15, 1993
    ...explanation for doing so, and cites Philpot v. City of Miami, 541 So.2d 680 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989); Bray v. Electronic Door-Lift, Inc., 558 So.2d 43 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989); Severini v. Pan American Beauty School, Inc., 557 So.2d 896 (Fla. 1st DCA 1990); and Lindsay v. TVS Trucking Co., 565 So.2d ......
  • Sch. Dist. of Indian River County/Ascension Benefits Ins. v. Cruce, No. 1D17-3342
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • November 27, 2019
    ...with the employee. See Alston v. Etcetera Janitorial Servs. , 634 So. 2d 1133, 1134 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994) ; Bray v. Elec. Door-Lift, Inc. , 558 So. 2d 43, 45-46 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989) ; Deahl v. Uni-Pak Corp., 550 So. 2d 122, 123-24 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989) ; Ralosky v. Dynamic Builders, Inc. , 500 S......
  • Stacy v. Venice Isles Mobile Home Park, No. 92-2328
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • April 27, 1994
    ...claimant's aggravated condition. It appears to me that the facts in this case are similar to those in Bray v. Electronic Door-Lift, Inc., 558 So.2d 43 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989), and, therefore, the rule stated therein should control the instant case. In Bray, Page 1044 this court, speaking throug......
  • Fritz v. Courtyard By Marriott, No. 91-530
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • January 14, 1992
    ...of one doctor over that of others, he must give reasons therefor that are supported by the record. Bray v. Elec. Door-Lift, Inc., 558 So.2d 43, 46 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989); Calleyro v. Mt. Sinai Hosp., 504 So.2d 1336, 1337 (Fla. 1st DCA), review denied, 513 So.2d 1062 (Fla.1987). The reasons mus......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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