Case name: Rivera v. AZ Group Detailing, 17 FLWCLB 136 (Fla. JCC, Orlando 2010).
Ruling: A Florida judge of compensation claims held that a worker suffered a work-related accident when he was stung by an insect while cleaning a vehicle at work. However, he failed to provide medical evidence of the major contributing cause. Therefore, no benefits were awarded.
What it means: The argument of an increased risk is not applicable in the absence of proof of an idiopathic condition.
Summary: A worker testified that he was performing his job cleaning and preparing vehicles for rental to the public when he felt a pinch or sting, followed by a burning sensation in his leg. He was eventually admitted to the hospital due to swelling. He could not work for more than four months due to the leg injury. He filed a petition alleging he was bitten or stung by an insect. The employer argued that the claimant did not demonstrate that his physical surroundings of the job in any way contributed to the risk of injury any more than they would have in his nonemployment life. The JCC disagreed and found the claimant sustained an injury arising out of and in the course of his employment. The argument of an increased risk is not applicable in the absence of proof of an idiopathic condition.
However, the JCC went on to find that the claimant failed to submit the testimony of a qualified medical expert to establish that the major contributing cause of his injuries and symptoms was the bite at work. Certainly, the symptoms, hospitalization, and care were temporally related within days to the alleged bite or sting. However, in the absence of any medical evidence of the major contributing cause, the JCC could not find that any injury or need for treatment was related to the work accident.
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November 22, 2010
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