HRS, STATE OF FLA. v. Pascual, 1D99-1278.

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtDAVIS, J.
Citation785 So.2d 509
PartiesHRS, STATE OF FLORIDA and Alexsis, Appellants, v. Teresita G. PASCUAL, Appellee.
Docket NumberNo. 1D99-1278.,1D99-1278.
Decision Date06 March 2000

785 So.2d 509

HRS, STATE OF FLORIDA and Alexsis, Appellants,
Teresita G. PASCUAL, Appellee

No. 1D99-1278.

District Court of Appeal of Florida, First District.

March 6, 2000.

785 So.2d 510
David A. McCranie of McCranie & Lower, P.A., Jacksonville, for Appellants

R. Cory Schnepper of Levine, Busch, Schnepper & Stein, P.A., Miami; and B. Ellen Schnepper of Barbara E. Schnepper, P.A., Miami, for Appellee.


Employer HRS, State of Florida, and its insurance carrier, Alexsis (E/C), appeal an order of the Judge of Compensation Claims (JCC). The E/C argue that the JCC erred in reducing claimant Teresita G. Pascual's state disability retirement (SDR) benefits by 1%, erred in further reducing the remaining SDR benefits before factoring the SDR benefits into the initial offset calculation, as provided by Escambia County Sheriffs Department v. Grice, 692 So.2d 896 (Fla.1997), and erred in disallowing cost of living adjustments beyond the initial offset calculation. We agree with the E/C that it was error to further reduce the SDR benefits, but otherwise affirm the order.

In 1986, Pascual sustained a compensable injury when she tripped over a stool while working. In 1992, she began receiving permanent total disability (PTD) and PTD supplemental (PTS) benefits. In 1994, she began receiving SDR benefits.1 The PTS and SDR benefits were increased pursuant to cost-of-living adjustments. In 1998, in accordance with Grice, HRS applied an offset so that the combined benefits did not exceed 100% of Pascual's average weekly wage (AWW). Pascual filed a petition for benefits claiming that HRS had improperly taken a credit based upon Grice. The parties stipulated that Pascual had contributed 1% to her SDR benefits fund. Pascual argued that supplemental benefits should not be included in the Grice offset, but if they were to be included, then Pascual should get credit for her

785 So.2d 511
1% contribution to the SDR benefits fund, leaving 99% of her SDR to be factored into the Grice offset calculation. She also argued, based upon her interpretation of an amicus curiae brief submitted by the State of Florida, Division of Retirement (Division), in HRS District II v. Pickard, 778 So.2d 299 (Fla. 1st DCA 1999),2 that only a portion of SDR benefits were subject to offset. The E/C countered that supplemental benefits, including cost-of-living adjustments, were to be included in the initial offset and future offsets whenever the combined benefits exceeded 100% of Pascual's AWW; that Pascual was not entitled to 1% or any credit for any contribution to SDR; and that they were entitled to offset 100% of the SDR benefits

The JCC issued...

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