Testimony helps derail dishwasher's claim for work-related stroke
Case name: Ormsbee v. Deerfield 21 Corp., 18 FLWCLB 23 (Fla. JCC, Ft. Lauderdale 2011).
A Florida judge of compensation claims denied benefits to a restaurant employee who alleged that his stroke was compensably related to his employment.
means: In Florida, evidence indicating that a worker did not perform additional responsibilities at work just prior to suffering a stroke, along with convincing medical testimony that the worker's stroke was due to a weakened artery caused by long-standing, uncontrolled hypertension, constitutes sufficient support for a finding that the stroke was not compensably related to his work.
Summary: A dishwasher for a restaurant suffered a stroke in the lobby of his employer's premises while waiting for his sister to pick him up from work two hours after he clocked out. His job duties also included performing prep work, sweeping, mopping, and taking out the trash. He testified that he did a lot of cleaning on the day of the stroke because someone told him of a major health inspection the following day. He further testified that the kitchen temperature was approximately 113 degrees. Evidence indicated he had a history of high blood pressure. The JCC found the stroke was not a compensable work-related accident and denied benefits.
The dishwasher argued that his additional responsibilities on the day of the stroke and the high temperature in the work area combined with his preexisting hypertension and led to a stroke. The JCC rejected the dishwasher's argument and found the stroke was the result of uncontrolled hypertension. The dishwasher's supervisor testified that the dishwasher was not given additional responsibilities to perform in anticipation of an inspection the following day, which was a Sunday. A neurologist opined that the dishwasher had an artery that was weakened from long-standing hypertension. Another neurologist testified that overexertion of physical activities did not contribute to the stroke.
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May 16, 2011
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