Terners of Miami Corp. v. Freshwater, No. 91-632

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtWEBSTER; JOANOS; ERVIN; ERVIN
Citation599 So.2d 674
PartiesTERNERS OF MIAMI CORP. and Atlas General, Appellants, v. M. Felix FRESHWATER and Luisa Valdez, Appellees. 599 So.2d 674, 17 Fla. L. Week. D1192
Decision Date05 May 1992
Docket NumberNo. 91-632

Page 674

599 So.2d 674
TERNERS OF MIAMI CORP. and Atlas General, Appellants,
v.
M. Felix FRESHWATER and Luisa Valdez, Appellees.
No. 91-632.
599 So.2d 674, 17 Fla. L. Week. D1192
District Court of Appeal of Florida,
First District.
May 5, 1992.

Charles E. Kelley and Sylvia A. Krainin of Adams, Kelley, Kronenberg & Kelley, Miami Lakes, for appellants.

Peter S. Schwedock, Miami, for appellees.

En Banc.

WEBSTER, Judge.

In this workers' compensation appeal, Terners of Miami Corp. and Atlas General (the employer and carrier, respectively) seek review of an order of the judge of compensation claims. That order resolved a dispute between the employer and carrier and Dr. M. Felix Freshwater (an authorized physician who had treated the claimant), regarding the amount that Dr. Freshwater was to be paid for his services, in favor of Dr. Freshwater. The employer and carrier argue that the judge of compensation claims lacked jurisdiction to hear and to decide the dispute; and, in the alternative, that certain findings of fact are not supported by competent substantial evidence, and that the judge of compensation claims erroneously failed to consider certain evidence and testimony. Because we agree that the judge of compensation claims lacked jurisdiction to hear and to decide the dispute, we reverse.

The employer and carrier argue that jurisdiction to hear and to decide the dispute regarding the amount that Dr. Freshwater was to be paid for his services is vested in the Division of Workers' Compensation of the Department of Labor and Employment Security (Division). They base their argument upon Section 440.13(2)(i)1., Florida Statutes (Supp.1990), which states that "[t]he [D]ivision shall ... resolve reimbursement disputes based on criteria to be established by rule." Dr. Freshwater argues that Section 440.13(2)(i)1. does not apply to this dispute because he filed his claim with the judge of compensation claims in February 1989, and

Page 675

Section 440.13(2)(i)1. was not enacted until July 1, 1990. The employer and carrier respond that, while this is true, Section 440.13(2)(i)1. nevertheless applies to this dispute because it constituted a procedural, rather than a substantive, change in the law; and because Section 440.13(2)(i)1. became effective before the hearing was held before the judge of compensation claims on Dr. Freshwater's claim. We agree with the employer and carrier.

"While the substantive rights of the parties in a workers' compensation case are determined by the law in effect at the time of the claimant's injury, this rule does not apply to procedural enactments." City of Clermont v. Rumph, 450 So.2d 573, 575 (Fla. 1st DCA), review denied, 458 So.2d 271 (Fla.1984). In our opinion, Section 440.13(2)(i)1. does nothing more than specify the forum in which claims such as that which is the subject of this appeal shall be heard. Accordingly, it has no effect upon substantive rights and, therefore, is merely procedural. See Sullivan v. Mayo, 121 So.2d 424 (Fla.1960) (forum in which review may be had is a procedural matter, not a substantive right).

Section 440.13(2)(i)1. became effective on July 1, 1990. Ch. 90-201, Secs. 18, 121, Laws of Fla. Although Dr. Freshwater filed his claim in February 1989, it was not heard by the judge of compensation claims until October 1990. Because Section 440.13(2)(i)1. was in effect when the hearing was held, the judge of compensation claims lacked jurisdiction to hear Dr. Freshwater's claim, and should have transferred it to the Division. The failure of the judge to do so constituted reversible error.

We recognize that there is language in our prior decision in Atlantic Foundation v. Gurlacz, 582 So.2d 10 (Fla. 1st DCA 1991), which may be read as concluding that Section 440.13(2)(i)1., Florida Statutes (Supp.1990), is substantive, rather than merely procedural, in its effect. To the extent that Gurlacz may be read as standing for such a conclusion, we expressly recede from that decision.

Based upon the foregoing analysis, the order of the judge of compensation claims is reversed, and the matter is remanded with directions to transfer Dr. Freshwater's claim to the Division.

REVERSED and REMANDED, with directions.

JOANOS, C.J., BOOTH, SMITH, SHIVERS, WIGGINTON, ZEHMER, BARFIELD, MINER, ALLEN, WOLF and KAHN, JJ., concur.

ERVIN, J., concurs with written opinion.

ERVIN, Judge, concurring.

Although I concur with the majority's decision that the Division of Workers' Compensation has jurisdiction to decide disputes regarding the appropriateness of the amounts of medical fees submitted by authorized physicians, I do not consider it necessary to decide the issue based upon a substantive/procedural analysis, because in my judgment the Division has had,...

To continue reading

Request your trial
10 practice notes
  • Childers v. State, No. 1D03-2154.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 28, 2006
    ...(Fla. 1st DCA 1992) (en banc decision released without antecedent publication of panel decision); Terners of Miami Corp. v. Freshwater, 599 So.2d 674 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992) (en banc decision released without antecedent publication of panel decision); Flanagan v. State, 586 So.2d 1085 (Fla. 1st......
  • Childers v. State, No. 1D03-2154.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 28, 2006
    ...(Fla. 1st DCA 1992) (en banc decision released without antecedent publication of panel decision); Terners of Miami Corp. v. Freshwater, 599 So.2d 674 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992) (en banc decision released without antecedent publication of panel decision); Flanagan v. State, 586 So.2d 1085 (Fla. 1st......
  • Kerr Const., Inc. v. Peters Contracting, Inc., No. 5D99-3621.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 15, 2000
    ...be adjudicated by a Florida court. Therefore, the statute is procedural, not substantive. See Terners of Miami Corp. v. Freshwater, 599 So.2d 674, 675 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992) ("While the substantive rights of the parties in a workers' compensation case are determined by the law in effect at the......
  • Avalon Center v. Hardaway, No. 1D06-2698.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 21, 2007
    ...procedural enactments." See City of Clermont v. Rumph, 450 So.2d 573, 575 (Fla. 1st DCA 1984). In Terners of Miami Corp. v. Freshwater, 599 So.2d 674 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992) (en banc), this court held that the provisions of section 440.13 which grant jurisdiction in a reimbursement dispute, the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
10 cases
  • Childers v. State, No. 1D03-2154.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 28, 2006
    ...(Fla. 1st DCA 1992) (en banc decision released without antecedent publication of panel decision); Terners of Miami Corp. v. Freshwater, 599 So.2d 674 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992) (en banc decision released without antecedent publication of panel decision); Flanagan v. State, 586 So.2d 1085 (Fla. 1st......
  • Childers v. State, No. 1D03-2154.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 28, 2006
    ...(Fla. 1st DCA 1992) (en banc decision released without antecedent publication of panel decision); Terners of Miami Corp. v. Freshwater, 599 So.2d 674 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992) (en banc decision released without antecedent publication of panel decision); Flanagan v. State, 586 So.2d 1085 (Fla. 1st......
  • Kerr Const., Inc. v. Peters Contracting, Inc., No. 5D99-3621.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 15, 2000
    ...be adjudicated by a Florida court. Therefore, the statute is procedural, not substantive. See Terners of Miami Corp. v. Freshwater, 599 So.2d 674, 675 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992) ("While the substantive rights of the parties in a workers' compensation case are determined by the law in effect at the......
  • Avalon Center v. Hardaway, No. 1D06-2698.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 21, 2007
    ...procedural enactments." See City of Clermont v. Rumph, 450 So.2d 573, 575 (Fla. 1st DCA 1984). In Terners of Miami Corp. v. Freshwater, 599 So.2d 674 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992) (en banc), this court held that the provisions of section 440.13 which grant jurisdiction in a reimbursement dispute, the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT