Richard E. Mosca & Co., Inc. v. Mosca, No. 52132

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtALDERMAN; ENGLAND
Citation362 So.2d 1340
Decision Date21 September 1978
Docket NumberNo. 52132
PartiesRICHARD E. MOSCA & CO., INC., et al., Petitioners, v. Richard E. MOSCA et al., Respondents.

Page 1340

362 So.2d 1340
RICHARD E. MOSCA & CO., INC., et al., Petitioners,
v.
Richard E. MOSCA et al., Respondents.
No. 52132.
Supreme Court of Florida.
Sept. 21, 1978.

Page 1341

Eugene N. Betts, Fort Lauderdale, for petitioners.

Charles M. Pasco, Hollywood, for respondents.

ALDERMAN, Justice.

This cause is before us on petition for writ of certiorari to review the decision of the Industrial Relations Commission which affirms an order of the Judge of Industrial Claims awarding compensation for a ruptured cerebral aneurysm sustained by the claimant, Richard Mosca. In deciding this case, we must determine whether Victor Wine & Liquor, Inc. v. Beasley, 141 So.2d 581 (Fla.1962), which heretofore has been applied only in cases involving heart attacks, should be extended to other internal failures of the cardiovascular system. We conclude that it should, and applying the doctrine of Victor Wine to the facts of this case, we hold that claimant's ruptured cerebral aneurysm was not a compensable injury. 1

Claimant is a forty-three-year-old man who, prior to the ruptured aneurysm, was in good health, with a history of medically controlled hypertension. He was employed as president of Richard E. Mosca & Co., Inc. Because of a decline in the activity of the construction industry, his company suffered financial setbacks. Since October of 1974, he had been under a great deal of stress and strain and had been working long hours. Because of the decline in business, he was forced to lay off his secretary, move his business into his home, use his wife as a secretary and reduce the salaries of the personnel of the company, including his own.

In an all-out effort to increase generator sales which were not dependent on the construction industry, claimant arranged a meeting to be held October 2, 1975, with a potentially large user of such a generator. Because of the importance of the sale, which could have made his company financially sound, claimant accompanied his sales manager to the meeting with the prospective buyer. He was extremely anxious and nervous. At the beginning of the meeting, the prospective buyer chastized him for having improperly delivered a previous shipment of another product and threatened that, if this happened again, he could forget any further business from the buyer's company. The meeting produced a tense atmosphere. Just as the buyer appeared ready to sign a purchase order and while the claimant was holding up a sample book and describing the types of generators available, the claimant suffered a rupture of a congenital cerebral aneurysm.

The physicians testifying on behalf of the claimant said that the rupture could have occurred at some other time but the tension

Page 1342

and pressure wrought by claimant's business problems, combined with the emotional stress and strain of the October 2nd meeting, caused an elevation of claimant's blood pressure which resulted in the rupture of the aneurysm. The physician who testified for the employer agreed that the rupture of the aneurysm could have occurred at any time, but he testified that there was no causal relationship between the sales meeting and the ruptured aneurysm.

The Judge of Industrial Claims found the rupture to be an accident arising out of and in the course of employment, concluded that it was a compensable injury, and awarded benefits. In his order, however, the Judge made no finding that the claimant was subject to an unusual strain or overexertion resulting from a specifically identified effort not routine to the type of work he was accustomed to performing at the time he suffered the rupture. In fact, after the claimant rested his case, the judge remarked that there was no evidence that there was any unusual strain or overexertion outside the usual course of a salesman's business.

The employer contends that a congenital weakness in an artery which suddenly bursts is synonymous with heart cases and that such an internal failure of the cardiovascular system should not be compensable unless the claimant is subjected to an unusual strain or overexertion, resulting from a specifically identifiable effort not routine to the type of work the claimant is accustomed to performing, which causes the internal failure. The employer alleges that the claimant has not met the Victor Wine test. The claimant, on the other hand, maintains that a ruptured aneurysm should not be treated the same as a heart attack. He argues that any failure of the cardiovascular system, other than the heart, should be treated as any other internal failure, such as a strained muscle, ruptured disc, "snapped" knee-cap and the like.

We conclude that the same rationale for requiring a stricter rule in heart cases is also applicable to other internal failures of the cardiovascular...

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21 practice notes
  • Zundell v. Dade County School Bd., No. 91-1848
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • December 15, 1992
    ...Supreme Court in Victor Wine & Liquor, Inc. v. Beasley, 141 So.2d 581 (Fla.1961), and Richard E. Mosca & Co., Inc. v. Mosca, 362 So.2d 1340 Appellant urges us to hold that, unless there is proof of a preexisting condition, a cardiovascular failure may be compensable without proof of......
  • Wolbert, Saxon & Middleton v. Warren, No. AQ-444
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • January 20, 1984
    ...the claimant's employment. City of Miami v. Rosenberg, 396 So.2d 163, 165 (Fla.1981) (quoting Richard E. Mosca & Co., Inc. v. Mosca, 362 So.2d 1340, 1342 (Fla.1978)). For purposes of determining the compensability of an injury under our Workers' Compensation law, we are entirely unable ......
  • University of Florida v. Massie, No. 76414
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • May 28, 1992
    ...Victor Wine rule and extended it to other internal failures of the cardiovascular system in Richard E. Mosca & Co., Inc. v. Mosca, 362 So.2d 1340 (Fla.1978). Mosca suffered a ruptured congenital cerebral aneurysm at the end of a stressful business meeting and at a time when he was havin......
  • Publix Super Markets, Inc. v. McGuire, No. 92-884
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • October 12, 1993
    ...[s]he was accustomed to performing at the time" she suffered the coronary artery spasm. Richard E. Mosca & Co., Inc. v. Mosca, 362 So.2d 1340, 1342 (Fla.1978). We conclude that the JCC erred, as a matter of law, in failing to apply the test from Victor Wine & Liquor, Inc. v. Be......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
21 cases
  • Zundell v. Dade County School Bd., No. 91-1848
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • December 15, 1992
    ...Supreme Court in Victor Wine & Liquor, Inc. v. Beasley, 141 So.2d 581 (Fla.1961), and Richard E. Mosca & Co., Inc. v. Mosca, 362 So.2d 1340 Appellant urges us to hold that, unless there is proof of a preexisting condition, a cardiovascular failure may be compensable without proof of......
  • Wolbert, Saxon & Middleton v. Warren, No. AQ-444
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • January 20, 1984
    ...the claimant's employment. City of Miami v. Rosenberg, 396 So.2d 163, 165 (Fla.1981) (quoting Richard E. Mosca & Co., Inc. v. Mosca, 362 So.2d 1340, 1342 (Fla.1978)). For purposes of determining the compensability of an injury under our Workers' Compensation law, we are entirely unable ......
  • University of Florida v. Massie, No. 76414
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • May 28, 1992
    ...Victor Wine rule and extended it to other internal failures of the cardiovascular system in Richard E. Mosca & Co., Inc. v. Mosca, 362 So.2d 1340 (Fla.1978). Mosca suffered a ruptured congenital cerebral aneurysm at the end of a stressful business meeting and at a time when he was havin......
  • Publix Super Markets, Inc. v. McGuire, No. 92-884
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • October 12, 1993
    ...[s]he was accustomed to performing at the time" she suffered the coronary artery spasm. Richard E. Mosca & Co., Inc. v. Mosca, 362 So.2d 1340, 1342 (Fla.1978). We conclude that the JCC erred, as a matter of law, in failing to apply the test from Victor Wine & Liquor, Inc. v. Be......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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