Marraffino v. Stericycle/Sedgwick CMS, No. 1D18-2639

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtPer Curiam.
Citation260 So.3d 1115
Parties Matthew MARRAFFINO, Appellant, v. STERICYCLE/SEDGWICK CMS, Appellees.
Decision Date30 November 2018
Docket NumberNo. 1D18-2639

260 So.3d 1115

Matthew MARRAFFINO, Appellant,

No. 1D18-2639

District Court of Appeal of Florida, First District.

November 30, 2018
Rehearing Denied January 7, 2019

Kimberly A. Hill of Kimberly A. Hill, P.L., Fort Lauderdale, for Appellant.

Alexandra Valdes of Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A., Miami, for Appellees.

Per Curiam.

In this workers' compensation case, Claimant appeals the Judge of Compensation Claim's (JCC's) dismissal of his claim for temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits for lack of jurisdiction. In dismissing the claim, the JCC reasoned that adjudication of the claim would require him to resolve the same issue concerning the date of maximum medical improvement (MMI)

260 So.3d 1116

that is on appeal in Marraffino v. Stericycle/Sedgwick CMS , Case Number 1D18-0757 (Marraffino I ). We reverse because the JCC continued to retain jurisdiction over claims to entitlement to benefits becoming due at different times from those addressed in the prior order.

Under section 440.15(4)(a), Florida Statutes (2014), TPD benefits are payable if MMI has not been reached and the medical conditions resulting from the injury create restrictions, not an absolute prohibition, on a claimant's ability to return to work. See, e.g. , Wyeth/Pharma Field Sales. v. Toscano , 40 So.3d 795, 799 (Fla. 1st DCA 2010). The date of MMI is defined as "the date after which further recovery from, or lasting improvement to, an injury or disease can no longer reasonably be anticipated, based on reasonable medical probability." § 440.20(10), Fla. Stat. (2014). A finding of MMI is precluded where a claimant is entitled to remedial care — i.e., where there is a reasonable expectation that the necessary treatment will bring about some degree of recovery — even if that treatment ultimately proves ineffective. See Delgado v. Omni Hotel , 643 So.2d 1185, 1186 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994) (citing Rolle v. Picadilly Cafeteria , 573 So.2d 94, 97 (Fla. 1st DCA 1991) ); see also Rosa v. Progressive Emp'r Servs. , 84 So.3d 472 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012).

Here, Claimant sustained a compensable injury to his right knee on December 10, 2014. In September 2017, Claimant filed a petition for benefits seeking, among other things, payment of TPD benefits from August 19, 2017, and continuing. On January 22, 2018, the JCC entered an order awarding nine days of TPD benefits but denying TPD benefits after August 28, 2017, because he found that Claimant was at MMI as of that date. That order and finding is the subject of the appeal in Marraffino I . Prior to any disposition in Marraffino I , Claimant filed another petition for benefits seeking TPD benefits allegedly payable after August 28, 2017. In the order currently on...

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