Victoria Hospital v. Perez, TT-440

Citation395 So.2d 1165
Decision Date23 February 1981
Docket NumberNo. TT-440,TT-440
PartiesVICTORIA HOSPITAL and Cosmopolitan Mutual Insurance Company, Appellants, v. Braulio PEREZ, Appellee.
CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)

Steven Kronenberg, of Pyszka, Kessler & Adams, Miami, for appellants.

Howard Pelzner, of Pelzner, Schwedock & Finkelstein, Miami, for appellee.

JOANOS, Judge.

In this Workers' Compensation appeal, the employer and its carrier contest the decision of the deputy commissioner which found the claimant's knee infection to be causally related to an earlier work-related injury to the same knee. We agree with appellants that the record did not present substantial competent evidence of the relationship and reverse the deputy's award of temporary total and permanent partial disability benefits as they relate to the knee infection. Since the award of benefits will be altered on remand, the attorney's fee award will need to be reconsidered also.

At the time of the accident, April 27, 1978, the claimant was a house physician at Victoria Hospital. During a cardiac emergency, the claimant banged his left knee against a bed headboard causing a contusion but no breaking of the skin. The claimant saw Dr. Cullipher for this injury through June 1978, during which time the doctor found no evidence of an infection. The claimant's knees were also examined on June 20, 1978 by Dr. Kalbac who diagnosed pre-existing degenerative arthritis in both knees but, like Dr. Cullipher, did not find any infection.

On October 30, 1978, the claimant was admitted to the hospital where Dr. Ramirez diagnosed a staph infection in both knees, although the left knee's infection was more severe. The admission report by Dr. Egozi indicated that the claimant gave a history of pain beginning about three months earlier, which would have placed the start of the infection around August of 1978. The claimant was re-hospitalized on March 2, 1979 when Dr. Ruiz found that the left knee had become infected again. The doctor also diagnosed arthritis and destruction of the knee joint.

The doctors were unanimous in the opinion that a staph infection generally takes less than a week to develop, although Dr. Ruiz theorized that under certain conditions (none of which he attributed to the claimant) the infection might take one or two months to develop. In addition, the uncontradicted medical testimony was that such an infection may result from a spread of infection elsewhere, a puncture wound into the knee, or an...

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2 cases
  • Fuchs Baking Co. v. Estate of Szlosek, AY-231
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • April 2, 1985
    ...Distributors, Inc. v. Snow, 186 So.2d 507 (Fla.1966), not upon facts or inferences not supported by evidence, Victoria Hospital v. Perez, 395 So.2d 1165 (Fla. 1st DCA 1981) or not independently proved. Lang Pools v. McIntosh, 415 So.2d 842 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982); Gold Coast Paving Co., Inc. v.......
  • Braddock v. School Bd. of Nassau County, AU-128
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 19, 1984
    ...(e.s.) Accord: R.P. Hewitt & Associates of Fla. v. McKimie, 416 So.2d 1230, 1232 n. 1 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982); Victoria Hospital v. Perez, 395 So.2d 1165, 1167 (Fla. 1st DCA 1981); D'Avila, Inc. v. Mesa, 381 So.2d 1172, 1173 (Fla. 1st DCA 1980). All of the cited cases are workers' compensation ......

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