Employers Ins. of Wausau v. Abernathy

Citation442 So.2d 953
Decision Date15 December 1983
Docket NumberNo. 63035,63035
PartiesEMPLOYERS INSURANCE OF WAUSAU, et al., Petitioners, v. Stacey R. ABERNATHY, Respondent.
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida

Page 953

442 So.2d 953
Stacey R. ABERNATHY, Respondent.
No. 63035.
Supreme Court of Florida.
Dec. 15, 1983.

Gerald W. Pierce of Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, Fort Myers, and Jana V. Jay of Napier & Donovan, Naples, for petitioners.

Bruce D. Frankel of Goldberg, Rubinstein & Buckley, Fort Myers, for respondent.

Larry Klein, West Palm Beach, for The Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, amicus curiae.

McDONALD, Justice.

In Abernathy v. Employers Insurance of Wausau, 428 So.2d 272, 276 (Fla. 2d DCA 1982), the second district asked the question:


We have jurisdiction pursuant to article V, section 3(b)(4) of the state constitution. We answer this question in the affirmative and approve the decision of the district court on this issue.

The opinion of the district court correctly recites our past holdings relative to immunity in this area of the law and we need not repeat them. Suffice it to say that the 1974 amendment to section 440.10, Florida Statutes, which authorizes suit by an employee of a subcontractor against another subcontractor for injuries occurring on a

Page 954

common job, modifies the common employment premise of our earlier holdings such as Younger v. Giller Contracting Co., 143 Fla. 335, 196 So. 690 (1940), and Carter v. Sims Crane Service, Inc., 198 So.2d 25 (Fla.1967).

The justification for limiting liability or granting immunity is the substitution of something else in its place, a quid pro quo. The duty to provide workers' compensation benefits supplants tort liability to those injured on the job. Jones v. Florida Power Corp., 72 So.2d 285 (Fla.1954). If the duty to provide such coverage does not exist, then one has no reason to expect immunity from wrongdoings committed against a third party. The dissent of Chief Justice Sundberg in Motchkavitz v. L.C. Boggs Industries, Inc., 407 So.2d 910 (Fla.1981), is now correct, and we recede from Younger and Miami Roofing & Sheet Metal Co. v. Kindt, 48 So.2d 840 (Fla.1950), thus allowing a third-party action against one who has no duty to afford compensation benefits.

Because we are adopting the opinion and analysis of the Second District Court of Appeal on this issue, a further recitation of our reasons for modifying...

To continue reading

Request your trial
26 cases
  • Doe v. Shands Teaching Hosp. and Clinics, Inc.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • February 19, 1993
    ...to one's person, property, or reputation, although the form of the substituted remedy may be different. Cf. Employers Ins. of Wausau v. Abernathy, 442 So.2d 953, 954 (Fla.1983) (workers' compensation benefits recognized as substitute remedy for civil action for damages); Chapman v. Dillon, ......
  • Veliz v. Rental Service Corp. Usa, Inc., 6:02-CV-1335-ORL-22DAB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
    • December 19, 2003
    ...occurring during the course of employment. In addition, "workers' compensation...supplants tort liability." Employers Ins. of Wausau v. Abernathy, 442 So.2d 953, 954 (Fla.1983). In exchange for a "swift and adequate of compensation" for work-place injuries it insulates "employers from poten......
  • Endurance Am. Specialty Ins. Co. v. United Constr. Eng'g, Inc.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Southern District of Florida
    • October 25, 2018
    ...; Motchkavitz v. L.C. Boggs Indus., Inc. , 407 So.2d 910, 912 (Fla. 1981), receded from on other grounds by Emp'rs Ins. of Wausau v. Abernathy , 442 So.2d 953 (Fla. 1983). As the Eleventh Circuit stated in Wesco , UCE and Lopez's argument that Lopez was a "temporary employee" under the poli......
  • Austin v. Duval County School Bd.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • July 13, 1995
    ...the duty to obtain compensation benefits and the concomitant immunity from claims based on negligence. See Employers Insurance of Wausau v. Abernathy, 442 So.2d 953, 954 (Fla.1983); Smith, 576 So.2d at 817; Fred G. Wright, Inc. v. Edwards, 642 So.2d 808 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994). The three-part te......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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