Christian v. Carolina Freight Carrier Corp., 89-661

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtBOOTH
Citation571 So.2d 524
Parties15 Fla. L. Weekly D2961 Willie CHRISTIAN, Appellant, v. CAROLINA FREIGHT CARRIER CORPORATION, Appellee.
Docket NumberNo. 89-661,89-661
Decision Date10 December 1990

Drew Tanney and Sondra Goldenfarb, Clearwater, for appellant.

James T. Earle, Jr. and Christopher B. Young of Riden & Earle, P.A., St. Petersburg, for appellee.

BOOTH, Judge.

This cause is before us on appeal from a denial of wage-loss benefits.

Claimant, age 54, had two jobs at the time of his injury: he worked full-time for the Veterans Administration as an accountant, earning $370.53 weekly, and part-time, 20 to 30 hours a week, for Carolina Freight Carrier Corporation loading freight and earning $254.55 weekly. Only his job with Carolina Freight was covered employment under the Workers' Compensation Act.

On October 22, 1986, claimant suffered a compensable injury while working for Carolina Freight. He was able to return to his accounting job after six weeks and continues to earn the same wages at that job as he earned before the injury. He returned to Carolina Freight in March 1987 and worked until November 14, 1987. He has not acquired another job to replace his employment with Carolina Freight. The parties have stipulated that claimant reached maximum medical improvement on October 14, 1987, with a permanent physical impairment.

The judge of compensation claims ruled that claimant's earnings from his employment with the Veterans Administration was not covered under the Act and therefore was not includable in the determination of the AWW. That ruling is not challenged here. The judge also ruled that the earnings excluded from the preinjury AWW were included in postrecovery earnings. The net result of these rulings is the judge's finding that there was no wage loss.

In Parrott v. City of Fort Lauderdale, 190 So.2d 326, 329 (Fla.1966), the Florida Supreme Court held:

If earnings from concurrent employment, engaged in by claimant at the time of the injury, are excluded from determination of the average weekly wage, i.e., pre-injury earning capacity, earnings from that same employment should also be excluded from the determination of post-recovery earning capacity. This statement is subject, however, to the proviso that to the extent that the claimant, after injury, enlarges his participation in the concurrent employment as a substitute for the employment in which he was injured, then such enlarged participation may be considered in determining post-recovery earning capacity.

Thus, the Florida Supreme Court in Parrott held that where noncovered, concurrent earnings are excluded from the determination of AWW, those same earnings must also be excluded in the determination of postrecovery earning capacity. That rule is subject only to an exception not applicable here, that claimant's increased participation in the concurrent, noncovered employment after the accident can be considered.

The Florida Supreme Court in the Parrott case, expressly rejected the approach used by the judge in the instant case, stating (190 So.2d at 329):

[T]o determine loss of wage earning capacity by comparing the average weekly wage, from which earnings from concurrent employment have been excluded, with post-recovery earning capacity, in which earnings from the same concurrent employment are included, obviously produces an unfair result. It does not fairly compensate the employee for loss of wage earning capacity which the statute is designed to do.

The Parrott case has not been overruled, distinguished, or restricted in any way on this issue. The intent and purpose of the Act is the same now as it was at the time of the Parrott decision. The Act is to be liberally construed to protect the employee and to place the financial burden of his loss of wage-earning capacity measured by his past wages upon the industry in which he was working when injured. DeAyala v. Florida Farm Bureau Casualty Ins. Co., 543 So.2d 204, 207 (Fla.1989); Iley v. Linzey, 531 So.2d 1361, 1368 (Fla. 1st DCA 1988), review denied, 542 So.2d 989 (Fla.1989). Section 440.15(3)(b), Florida Statutes, in effect at the time of the accident herein, provides in part:

440.15(3)(b) Wage-loss benefits.--

1. Each injured worker who suffers any permanent impairment ... may be entitled to wage-loss benefits.... Such benefits shall be based on actual wage loss. Subject to the maximum compensation rate as set forth in s. 440.12(2), such wage-loss benefits shall be equal to 95 percent of the difference between 85 percent of the average monthly wage and the salary, wages, and other remuneration the employee is able to earn after reaching maximum medical improvement; however, the monthly wage-loss benefits shall not exceed an amount equal to 66 2/3 percent of the employee's average monthly wage at the time of the injury....

2. The amount determined to be the salary, wages, and other remunerations the employee is able to earn after reaching the date of maximum medical improvement shall in no case be less than the sum actually being earned by the employee,...

To continue reading

Request your trial
2 cases
  • Wal-Mart Stores v. Campbell, WAL-MART
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 2, 1997
    ...that concepts of fairness are inherent in the case law addressing AWW calculation, citing Christian v. Carolina Freight Carrier Corp., 571 So.2d 524 (Fla. 1st DCA 1990); Edwards v. Caulfield, 560 So.2d 364 (Fla. 1st DCA 1990); and Newell v. Seaboard Contractors, 473 So.2d 787 (Fla. 1st DCA ......
  • Hopkins v. State, Dept. of Transp., 90-3822
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • December 26, 1991
    ...route has not increased. Parrott v. City of Fort Lauderdale, 190 So.2d 326 (Fla.1966); Christian v. Carolina Freight Carrier Corporation, 571 So.2d 524 (Fla. 1st DCA The judge excused the inadequate work search for the period for which TPD was awarded in this order, because the employer fai......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT