Cedars of Lebanon Health Care Center, Inc. v. Summerset, AC-270

Decision Date02 February 1982
Docket NumberNo. AC-270,AC-270
Citation409 So.2d 185
PartiesCEDARS OF LEBANON HEALTH CARE CENTER, INC., and Corporate Group Service, Inc., Appellants, v. Gloria SUMMERSET, Appellee.
CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals

Steven Kronenberg, Adams, Kelley & Kronenberg, Miami, for appellants.

Howard L. Silverstein, Silverstein & Hellman, Miami, for appellee.


The employer/carrier appeal from an order of the deputy commissioner awarding temporary total disability to the claimant, ordering payment of the bills of Dr. Mario Ambrose, a psychiatrist, and reserving jurisdiction to later rule upon the E/C's responsibility for bills of certain other doctors. We affirm the award of temporary total disability benefits. However, we find an absence of the necessary finding of "good cause" to excuse the failure of Dr. Ambrose to file reports of injury and treatment within the time prescribed by Section 440.13(1), Florida Statutes. We find no error in the order of the deputy commissioner deferring a decision on bills for hospitalization at Mercy Hospital, and for the professional services of various physicians, pending proof of authorization, necessity and causal connection to the injuries sustained in the accident. 1 Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.

Regarding the award of temporary total disability, we find from our examination of the record that the testimony and medical records of Dr. Ambrose were sufficient to support the deputy's finding that claimant was unable to work because of her psychiatric condition, superimposed upon her residual pain and continuing physical disabilities and discomfort resulting from the accident and surgery undertaken to alleviate the injuries to her back. Dr. Ambrose found that the claimant had a severe depressive reaction which he related to her accident and her unsatisfactory recovery from back surgery. Her accident interrupted her training for a position as an emergency medical technician, and she continued to have pain, inability to sleep, and numerous other physical manifestations following her surgery. She was seen by numerous doctors, some authorized, some not, and underwent further treatment following the initial laminectomy and disc excision performed by Dr. Bacon.

Dr. Bacon, as early as December 20, 1978, some six weeks following the laminectomy, reported to the employer/carrier that he felt the claimant would benefit from readmission to the hospital for four or five days for rehabilitation and for psychological evaluation. This recommendation was ignored by the E/C. He reported further on January 31, 1979, that a psychological evaluation would be of benefit, but that claimant was opposed to this. 2 Again, the E/C ignored Dr. Bacon's recommendation. Claimant was finally hospitalized again in March, 1980, by her family physician, Dr. Menendez, for physical conditions and her depressed mental state. She was seen by a neurosurgeon and an orthopedic surgeon, both of whom felt she required psychiatric treatment. Dr. Menendez therefore called in Dr. Ambrose, who found her in a severely depressed psychiatric condition, which he treated with medication and psychotherapy. Dr. Ambrose found that her depressed state would prevent her from functioning in a work environment and his deposition and reports, buttressed by testimony from the claimant, indicated that she was temporarily and totally disabled from the date of the accident to the date of hearing. In addition to her psychiatric condition, the overwhelming weight of the evidence shows a physical impairment from her back injury ranging from 15 to 25%, and that she was unable to perform any work that involved heavy lifting or repeated bending, which of necessity ruled out continuing her employment as a nurse's aide.

We conclude that the deputy commissioner's findings of temporary total disability were supported by competent, substantial evidence. The parties have agreed, however, that the decretal order is in error in awarding temporary total disability benefits to continue "until claimant reaches maximum medical improvement." That portion of the order is vacated, and it is ordered that temporary total disability benefits...

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7 cases
  • Watson v. Freeman Decorating Co.
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • September 17, 1984
    ...1026, 1028 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982); Walt Disney World v. Schiebel, 414 So.2d 602, 603 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982); Cedars of Lebanon Health Care v. Summerset, 409 So.2d 185 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982); Vannice Construction Co. v. Silverman, 419 So.2d 369 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982). Other cases, however, consider the ......
  • Fuchs Baking Co. v. Estate of Szlosek
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • April 2, 1985
    ...seek unauthorized medical treatment where authorization has been requested and refused by the E/C. Cedars of Lebanon Health Care Center, Inc. v. Summerset, 409 So.2d 185 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982); Mayberry v. Sunland Training Center, 404 So.2d 810 (Fla. 1st DCA Section 440.13(2)(b) further provid......
  • Heath & Co. v. Greifzu, 88-2191
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • June 28, 1989
    ...(Fla. 1st DCA 1985), Vannice Construction Company v. Silverman, 419 So.2d 369 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982), Cedars of Lebanon Health Care Center, Inc. v. Summerset, 409 So.2d 185 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982). The record contains competent, substantial evidence to support the deputy's finding that the service......
  • Gephart v. Silver Springs Shores Golf & Country Club, s. 87-1393
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • May 12, 1989
    ...a treating physician has been noted "parenthetically" as indicative of the need for treatment, Cedars of Lebanon Health Care Center, Inc. v. Summerset, 409 So.2d 185, 187 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982), the source of the referral has not been given such dispositive weight that uncontroverted medical t......
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