Martin v. Board of County Com'rs, Manatee County

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Citation79 So.2d 513
PartiesFrank MARTIN, Petitioner, v. BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, MANATEE COUNTY, Florida, and Century IndemnityCompany and Florida Industrial Commission, Respondents.
Decision Date13 April 1955

G. O. Lea, Bradenton, for petitioner.

Macfarlane, Ferguson, Allison & Kelly and Hugh C. Macfarlane, Tampa, for Board of County Com'rs, Manatee County and Century Indemnity Co.

Rodney Durrance, Tallahassee, for Florida Industrial Commission.

KANNER, Associate Justice.

This case, arising out of a claim for workmen's compensation, presents a petition for writ of certiorari to review the findings of the deputy commissioner and the Florida Industrial Commission denying the claim for compensation.

The claimant, Frank Martin, had been employed by the Board of County Commissioners of Manatte County for a period of about a year prior to May 31, 1953, as a maintenance machanic. This work involved maintenance and repair of trucks and road machinery owned by the county. As a part of his duties, he operated an electric and an acetylene welder from time to time. During the last two weeks before Martin ceased his work, his duties comprised more welding than usual. About the last two weeks in May, he began to have frequent coughing spells and developed a tickling sensation in his throat, and about a week before the end of May, he suffered chest congestion and difficulty in breathing. He said that toward the end of May after the coughing started the fumes bothered him but before that he was never bothered by them. On June 2, 1953 he went to Dr. Floyd, who ordered him home from work and diagnosed his ailment as a cold, for which he gave treatment. Then after attending him at his home on several occasions during the succeeding week, he made a diagnosis of bronchitis and asthma.

The determination of this controversy must be based upon the medical evidence. The following does not cover, but rather it is a summation or analysis of pertinent phases of such testimony on the part of the physicians who examined the claimant.

Dr. Floyd, claimant's physician, in his testimony stated in effect that something occurred to cause this asthmatic condition of the claimant and that it could have been caused or aggravated by the fumes from the welding machine which he operated in the course of his employment, but later testified he could not state definitely what caused the asthma. He testified further that in the past Martin had suffered bronchitis, atelectasis (collapse) of the right lung, emphysema, arrested tuberculosis with lesions in the right lung, pulmonary fibrosis, and virus pneumonia 'a couple of years ago.' He stated that he could not say with medical certainty just what caused or aggravated Mr. Martin's condition. When asked if the virus pneumonia could have had a subsequent effect on a person's respiratory system, making the person more prone to develop colds and bronchial conditions, he replied in the affirmative, but stated further that he did not believe the virus pneumonia played a part in Martin's present condition due to the fact that following it he went back to work. In the surgeon's report filed July 21, 1953, by Dr. Floyd with the Florida Industrial Commission, his findings were that Martin was suffering from pneumonitis, emphysema, bronchitis, and asthma.

On July 21, 1953, the claimant was examined by Dr. H. Phillip Hampton, specialist in internal medicine, who testified as witness for the employer. When asked concerning his opinion as to any causal relationship between the welding fumes and claimant's bronchial asthma, he replied, in effect, that such inhalation of fumes may produce an acute irritation of the bronchial tubes and cause acute bronchitis which is limited to a short duration, but stated, 'I know of no inhalation of fumes over a short period of time that leads to a chronic disease process of the lungs. * * * It is a form of an acute irritant that irritates while it is present, but does not leave permanent damage.' Under cross examination, when asked by counsel for the claimant, 'If Mr. Martin had not developed any of these conditions * * * prior to being exposed to the fumes, it is possible that that could have caused the asthmatic condition, isn't it?' he replied, 'In my opinion, it would have been a coincidence. It is a possibility that the inhalation of fumes would have irritated a pre-existing chronic bronchitis or asthma or caused an acute temporary bronchitis, but * * * the effects * * * on this disease process would have been a...

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13 cases
  • Foxworth v. Florida Indus. Com'n
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • 27 Mayo 1955
    ...Co. v. Nobles, 1945, 156 Fla. 408, 23 So.2d 525; Williamson v. Roy L. Willard, Inc., Fla.1952, 59 So.2d 865; Martin v. Board of County Commissioners, Fla.1955, 79 So.2d 513, opinion filed April 13, 1955. See 1 Larson, Workmen's Compensation (1952) 158, Section 12.00. Courts agree that there......
  • Pridgen v. International Cushion Co.
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • 18 Abril 1956
    ...156 Fla. 408, 23 So.2d 525; Reed v. Brinson, Fla.1951, 50 So.2d 877; Wesley v. Warth, Fla.1951, 52 So.2d 346; Martin v. Board of County Commissioners, Fla.1955, 79 So.2d 513. Cases in this Court in which we have discussed the presumption in sec. 440.26, Florida Statutes, F.S.A., are: Neuman......
  • Spivey v. Battaglia Fruit Co.
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • 21 Febrero 1962
    ...that the injury was directly attributable to some event or circumstances connected with the accident. Martin v. Board of County Commissioners, Manatee County, Fla., 79 So.2d 513. However, it was stated by this court in S. H. Kress & Co. v. Burkes, 153 Fla. 868, 16 So.2d 106, that 'this cour......
  • Watson v. Freeman Decorating Co.
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • 17 Septiembre 1984 upon the claimant to establish his injury and the causal connection between the injury and the employment, Martin v. Board of County Commissioners, 79 So.2d 513 (Fla.1955), that any claim requesting the payment of medical expenses necessarily places the burden on claimant to show a good ......
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