Waffle House v. Hutchinson, No. 95-1097

CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtZEHMER; BARFIELD; KAHN; KAHN
Citation673 So.2d 883
Parties21 Fla. L. Weekly D1018 WAFFLE HOUSE and O'Steen Adjusting Services, Appellants, v. Lecia HUTCHINSON, Appellee.
Docket NumberNo. 95-1097
Decision Date26 April 1996

Page 883

673 So.2d 883
21 Fla. L. Weekly D1018
WAFFLE HOUSE and O'Steen Adjusting Services, Appellants,
v.
Lecia HUTCHINSON, Appellee.
No. 95-1097.
District Court of Appeal of Florida,
First District.
April 26, 1996.
Rehearing Denied June 12, 1996.

Page 884

An appeal from a workers' compensation order; Michael J. DeMarko, Judge of Compensation Claims.

J. Craig Knox and Marjorie M. Cain of Fuller, Johnson & Farrell, P.A., Tallahassee, for Appellants.

Larry Hill and Yancey F. Langston of Moore, Hill, Westmoreland, Hook & Bolton, Pensacola, for Appellee.

ZEHMER, Chief Judge.

Waffle House and O'Steen Adjusting Services (Waffle House) appeal the final order of the judge of compensation claims ruling Lecia Hutchinson's claim compensable by operation of subsection 440.192(8), Florida Statutes (Supp.1994). Waffle House argues that subsection 440.192(8) is a substantive enactment and the judge therefore erred in applying it retroactively to Hutchinson's claim that arose prior to the enactment's January 1, 1994, effective date. We affirm.

Subsection 440.192(8) provides as follows:

(8) Within 14 days after receipt of a petition for benefits by certified mail, the carrier must either pay the requested benefits without prejudice to its right to deny within 120 days from receipt of the petition or file a notice of denial with the division. The carrier must list all benefits requested but not paid and explain its justification for nonpayment in the notice of denial. A carrier that does not deny compensability in accordance with s. 440.20(4) is deemed to have accepted the employee's injuries as compensable, unless it can establish material facts relevant to the issue of compensability that could not have been discovered through reasonable investigation within the 120-day period. The carrier shall provide copies of the notice to the filing party, employer, and claimant by certified mail.

In the present case, Hutchinson was allegedly injured in an industrial accident on November 19, 1993, while employed with the Waffle House. She filed her notice of injury on December 2, 1993. Waffle House filed a notice of denial 14 days later on December 16. Hutchinson next filed her initial petition for benefits on June 23, 1994, and thereafter filed amended petitions in September and October 1994. Waffle House did not file notices of denial with respect to these petitions,

Page 885

however, nor did it at any time commence payment of compensation. At the final hearing held on January 26, 1995, the judge of compensation claims sua sponte raised the issue of the applicability of subsection 440.192(8) and ruled that even though Waffle House timely filed an initial notice of denial in December 1993, its failure to file a second notice after the filing of Hutchinson's petition for benefits subjected it to the "deemed compensable" provision of subsection (8). Specifically, the judge interpreted...

To continue reading

Request your trial
13 practice notes
  • Childers v. State, No. 1D03-2154.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 28, 2006
    ...N. River Ins. Co. v. Wuelling, 683 So.2d 1090, 1092 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996) ("[W]e recede from our decision in Waffle House v. Hutchinson, 673 So.2d 883 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996)...."); Singletary v. Jones, 681 So.2d 836, 837 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996) ("Because the department is questioning the ruling in B......
  • Childers v. State, No. 1D03-2154.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 28, 2006
    ...N. River Ins. Co. v. Wuelling, 683 So.2d 1090, 1092 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996) ("[W]e recede from our decision in Waffle House v. Hutchinson, 673 So.2d 883 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996). . . ."); Singletary v. Jones, 681 So.2d 836, 837 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996) ("Because the department is questioning the ruling i......
  • Russell Corp. v. Brooks, No. 96-3265
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 12, 1997
    ...costs, and attorney's fees. In entering this compensation order, the judge of compensation claims relied on Waffle House v. Hutchinson, 673 So.2d 883 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996), review denied, 683 So.2d 486 (Fla.1996), which we have since repudiated, originally in North River Insurance Company v. ......
  • Alachua County Bd. of County Com'rs v. Starling, No. 96-4269
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 18, 1997
    ...of denial of compensability was not timely filed. In deeming the condition compensable, the JCC relied on Waffle House v. Hutchinson, 673 So.2d 883 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996), review denied, 683 So.2d 486 (Fla.1996), and did not have the benefit of this court's opinion in North River Insurance Com......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
13 cases
  • Childers v. State, No. 1D03-2154.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 28, 2006
    ...N. River Ins. Co. v. Wuelling, 683 So.2d 1090, 1092 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996) ("[W]e recede from our decision in Waffle House v. Hutchinson, 673 So.2d 883 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996)...."); Singletary v. Jones, 681 So.2d 836, 837 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996) ("Because the department is questioning the ruling in B......
  • Childers v. State, No. 1D03-2154.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 28, 2006
    ...N. River Ins. Co. v. Wuelling, 683 So.2d 1090, 1092 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996) ("[W]e recede from our decision in Waffle House v. Hutchinson, 673 So.2d 883 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996). . . ."); Singletary v. Jones, 681 So.2d 836, 837 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996) ("Because the department is questioning the ruling i......
  • Russell Corp. v. Brooks, No. 96-3265
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 12, 1997
    ...costs, and attorney's fees. In entering this compensation order, the judge of compensation claims relied on Waffle House v. Hutchinson, 673 So.2d 883 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996), review denied, 683 So.2d 486 (Fla.1996), which we have since repudiated, originally in North River Insurance Company v. ......
  • Alachua County Bd. of County Com'rs v. Starling, No. 96-4269
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 18, 1997
    ...of denial of compensability was not timely filed. In deeming the condition compensable, the JCC relied on Waffle House v. Hutchinson, 673 So.2d 883 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996), review denied, 683 So.2d 486 (Fla.1996), and did not have the benefit of this court's opinion in North River Insurance Com......
  • 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