Tenneco, Inc. v. Montana

Citation520 So.2d 615,13 Fla. L. Weekly 132
Decision Date05 January 1988
Docket NumberNo. BQ-498,BQ-498
Parties13 Fla. L. Weekly 132 TENNECO, INC. and Traveler's Insurance Company, Appellants, v. Michael MONTANA, Appellee.
CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)

Robert G. Brightman, Orlando, for appellants.

David M. Hammond, Orlando, for appellee.


In this appeal by the employer/carrier we find only one issue which merits discussion. The deputy based the claimant's average weekly wage (AWW) in part on the claimant's concurrent earnings derived from his position as an officer and part owner of a corporation. It was the policy of this corporation to keep workers' compensation insurance in place for all of its employees, but the claimant discovered subsequent to his injury that another officer had permitted the insurance to lapse by failing to pay the premiums. The employer/carrier contend that the insurance lapse renders the claimant's otherwise includible concurrent income from this venture non-includible. We disagree and affirm.

The authorities relied upon by appellants deal with the principle that concurrent wages earned in types of employment which are excluded from coverage under the Workers' Compensation Act cannot be included in the AWW calculation. E.g. State of Florida, Department of Corrections v. Tharpe, 413 So.2d 159 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982) (employer with less than three employees); Randell, Inc. v. Chism, 404 So.2d 175 (Fla. 1st DCA 1981) (independent contractor); Rollins Building Services, Inc. v. Thomas, 393 So.2d 665 (Fla. 1st DCA 1981) (domestic servant). But whether an employer acquires workers' compensation insurance--or once acquired, whether the employer keeps such insurance in force--is unrelated to whether the Act covers that employment. We hold that whether a claimant was covered by a workers' compensation insurance policy in his concurrent employment is irrelevant to whether his concurrent earnings are includible in the AWW calculation.

We note that the Florida Supreme Court in American Uniform & Rental Service v. Trainer, 262 So.2d 193 (Fla.1972) discarded the principle announced in J.J. Murphy & Son, Inc. v. Gibbs, 137 So.2d 553 (Fla.1962), that concurrent earnings from dissimilar employment otherwise covered by the Act are not includible in the AWW calculation. The Court noted the inequitable results frequently occurring under the old rule and concluded that nothing in the body of the Act compelled such a principle. The Court went on to point out that...

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2 cases
  • Iley v. Linzey, 87-312
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 15, 1988
    ...City of Haines City, 97 So.2d 208 (Fla. 2d DCA 1957) (independent contractor). See also Tenneco, Inc. (Traveler's Insurance) v. Montana, 520 So.2d 615 (Fla. 1st DCA 1988); Anna Maria Fire Control District v. Angell, 528 So.2d 456 (Fla. 1st DCA 1988). None of these cases, however, has dealt ......
  • Anna Maria Fire Control Dist. v. Angell, 87-1474
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • July 1, 1988
    ...insurance coverage, since such coverage is irrelevant to whether the Act covers specific employment. Tenneco, Inc. v. Montana, 520 So.2d 615 (Fla. 1st DCA 1988). However, the term "employee" only includes sole proprietors who devote full time to the proprietorship, over which there is no di......

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