1st DCA Rejects Challenge to Limit on Benefits for Mental Injuries


The 1st DCA on Thursday, without issuing a written opinion, affirmed a decision by Judge of Compensation Claims Thomas Portuallo that rejected a challenge to Section 440.093 filed by Miami claimants’ attorney Mark Zientz. The case is Davis v. Nascar Holdings, No. 1D12-5177.

Tammy Davis had held an administrative position with Nascar Holdings and injured her back while bending and twisting at work. Her doctors later diagnosed her with chronic regional pain syndrome and depression.

A doctor found Davis reached physical maximum medical improvement in March 2011, but she had not reached MMI for her psychological condition. Under Florida law, a worker’s mental injury is not compensable unless it is a manifestation of a compensable physical injury. Section 440.093 provides that a worker can receive indemnity benefits only for a mental injury for up to six months from the date she achieves MMI for her physical injury.

Pursuant to this section, Nascar cut off Davis’ indemnity benefits and stopped paying for Davis’ psychological care six months after she reached physical MMI….

…Defense attorney H. George Kagan, of Miller, Kagan, Rodriguez & Silver, said he thought the decision “helps immunize that statute from attack,” but since the 1st DCA’s decision is not binding precedent, there is nothing stopping anyone from mounting another attack.

Read the full story on WorkCompCentral

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