Fritz v. Courtyard By Marriott, No. 91-530

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtERVIN
Citation592 So.2d 1167
Parties17 Fla. L. Weekly D235 Delaine FRITZ, Appellant, v. COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT and Marriott Casualty Claims, Appellees.
Decision Date14 January 1992
Docket NumberNo. 91-530

Page 1167

592 So.2d 1167
17 Fla. L. Weekly D235
Delaine FRITZ, Appellant,
v.
COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT and Marriott Casualty Claims, Appellees.
No. 91-530.
District Court of Appeal of Florida,
First District.
Jan. 14, 1992.

Page 1168

Edward G. Matheson of Bello & Matheson, Vero Beach, for appellant.

Mathew Staver of Staver & Associates, Orlando, for appellee.

ERVIN, Judge.

In this workers' compensation case, claimant, Delaine Fritz, appeals from an order denying compensability and all requested benefits. She contends that the judge of compensation claims (JCC) erred in rejecting her testimony regarding the time required to perform each job duty based on an erroneous interpretation of her testimony, and in concluding that her job duties did not require any lateral wrist movement and therefore did not cause her wrist and hand injuries. Additionally, claimant contends that the final order, which was entered after the 30-day period prescribed in Section 440.25(3)(d), Florida Statutes (1989), was stale, and that the JCC erred in denying her claim for costs, penalties, interest, and attorney's fees. As discussed below, we reverse as to the first two issues and remand for further proceedings, and therefore do not reach the remaining two issues.

Claimant worked as a night auditor at the Melbourne Marriott for the employer. She filed a claim for benefits in connection with a wrist and hand condition known as tenosynovitis (swelling and inflammation around the tendons) and possible carpal tunnel syndrome that she alleged was caused by repetitive exposure or occurrence at work. The employer/carrier (E/C) controverted the claim, asserting the conditions were noncompensable and did not arise out of her employment. The JCC agreed with the E/C and entered an order denying benefits. In so doing, the JCC accepted evidence that was clearly conflicting as uncontradicted, without explanation, and made several material findings that are not supported by the evidence.

Claimant's first two issues relate to whether the JCC erred in rejecting her testimony and by finding that her work activities did not cause her condition. As to those issues, it is well-established that it is the JCC's duty to judge the credibility of the witnesses and to resolve conflicts in the evidence, and that this court is bound by the JCC's findings if they are supported by competent, substantial evidence (CSE), i.e., evidence that is logical and reasonable. Carson v. Gaineswood Condominiums, 532 So.2d 28, 31 (Fla. 1st DCA 1988); Gadsden County Bd. of Pub. Instruction v. Dickson, 191 So.2d 562, 565 (Fla.1966). If, however, the JCC's findings lack substantial support in the record, this court is not bound thereby. Chicken 'N' Things v. Murray, 329 So.2d 302, 305 (Fla.1976).

Turning first to the JCC's rejection of claimant's testimony as to her actual job duties, such testimony was rejected in part because the claimant had testified as to the maximum time required for each task based on the busy season at the hotel. Although the record does indicate that the hotel had an on and an off season, which caused the number of guests to fluctuate, the JCC's finding ignores critical testimony from Ms. Morgan, the woman who took over appellant's job, to the effect that even during the slow season she had work that would keep her occupied between six and six-and-one-half hours per night, and from Ms. Benton, claimant's supervisor, who testified the job entailed seven hours of work.

The JCC also rejected claimant's testimony on this point for the reason that it was contradictory in itself. He wrote: "If the

Page 1169

Claimant's testimony were true, she would have to spend at least 16.6 hours doing check-ins and checkouts, and clearly her job only lasted from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m." In so saying, he specifically found that claimant testified she performed 50 or 60 check-ins or express check-ins or checkouts per night and that each check-in or checkout would take approximately 20 minutes per person. These findings lack support in the record. Claimant in fact testified that she...

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9 practice notes
  • Chavarria v. Selugal Clothing, Inc., No. 1D00-3467.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 3 Febrero 2003
    ...or ignore the test of Buro, in favor of the first prong of the Rouse formulation. For instance, in Fritz v. Courtyard by Marriott, 592 So.2d 1167, 1170 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992), we stated, "[a]lthough the JCC is authorized to accept the testimony of one doctor over that of others, he must give r......
  • Days Inn/Days Suites v. Thomas, 92-00461
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 7 Julio 1993
    ...Ltd., 522 So.2d 1010 (Fla. 1st DCA 1988). The reasons given must logically support the JCC's decision. Fritz v. Courtyard by Marriott, 592 So.2d 1167, 1170 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992); Mendoza, supra at 782 n. 2 (reason given must logically support the JCC's decision and find articulable support in......
  • Jefferson v. Wayne Dalton Corp./Hartford, No. 1D00-2608.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 10 Agosto 2001
    ...claims to determine the credibility of the witnesses and resolve conflicts in the evidence. See, e.g., Fritz v. Courtyard By Marriott, 592 So.2d 1167, 1168 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992). But this discretion is not 793 So.2d 1084 without limitations. See id. A judge of compensation claims cannot, for ......
  • Collura v. Multi Line Can Co., No. 90-01771
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • 10 Abril 1992
    ...Any reasons given must logically support the JCC's decision; they cannot be arbitrary and unreasonable. Fritz v. Courtyard by Marriott, 592 So.2d 1167 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992); H & A Frank's Construction v. Mendoza, 582 So.2d 780, 781 (Fla. 1st DCA 1991). In rejecting the uncontroverted medical ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
9 cases
  • Chavarria v. Selugal Clothing, Inc., No. 1D00-3467.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 3 Febrero 2003
    ...or ignore the test of Buro, in favor of the first prong of the Rouse formulation. For instance, in Fritz v. Courtyard by Marriott, 592 So.2d 1167, 1170 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992), we stated, "[a]lthough the JCC is authorized to accept the testimony of one doctor over that of others, he must give r......
  • Days Inn/Days Suites v. Thomas, 92-00461
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 7 Julio 1993
    ...Ltd., 522 So.2d 1010 (Fla. 1st DCA 1988). The reasons given must logically support the JCC's decision. Fritz v. Courtyard by Marriott, 592 So.2d 1167, 1170 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992); Mendoza, supra at 782 n. 2 (reason given must logically support the JCC's decision and find articulable support in......
  • Jefferson v. Wayne Dalton Corp./Hartford, No. 1D00-2608.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 10 Agosto 2001
    ...claims to determine the credibility of the witnesses and resolve conflicts in the evidence. See, e.g., Fritz v. Courtyard By Marriott, 592 So.2d 1167, 1168 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992). But this discretion is not 793 So.2d 1084 without limitations. See id. A judge of compensation claims cannot, for ......
  • Collura v. Multi Line Can Co., No. 90-01771
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • 10 Abril 1992
    ...Any reasons given must logically support the JCC's decision; they cannot be arbitrary and unreasonable. Fritz v. Courtyard by Marriott, 592 So.2d 1167 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992); H & A Frank's Construction v. Mendoza, 582 So.2d 780, 781 (Fla. 1st DCA 1991). In rejecting the uncontroverted medical ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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