February 26, 2010
Contact: Eric W. Boyer, Esq.
(305) 670-1101 Ext. 1023
TAMPA, Fla. – Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. (QPWB), trial attorney Juan Carlos Garcia, successfully defended Time, Inc./ACE-ESIS in a workers’ compensation trial, where claims were brought before the Honorable Judge of Compensation Claims Joseph Murphy. The claimant sought medical and disability benefits for his psychiatric condition of Permanent and Total Disability (PTD) following physical injury occurring from an accident during the course of employment on May 22, 2007.
With the claim deemed compensable, the authorized providers placed the claimant under medical care and treatment. The workers’ compensation claims for PTD and psychiatric care was placed once the claimant had been placed under permanent impairment benefits at MMI.
The defense raised that the claimant was not PTD and could work within a 50-mile radius of his residence, which is the statutory language for PTD cases. In support of this defense, the depositions of medical providers was introduced where they testified to this on behalf of Time, Inc./ACE-ESIS and also testified there were no referrals to psychiatric care as a result of the May 2007 accident. The claimant retained an IME opinion indicating that the psychiatric issues were related to this accident; Time, Inc./ACE-ESIS also retained its expert who testified to the contrary.
During the trial, it was determined that the claimant’s testimony contained several inconsistent statements and appearances of misrepresentation. A vocational expert hired by the claimant testified that the claimant could not return to work. During the cross-examination of that expert, opinions were obtained that supported the defenses raised.
Testimony provided by the defense’s vocational expert included evidence that the claimant could return to work to perform the same job as before or other similar job. A re-employment witness testified as to the jobs available to the claimant. Lastly, the employer testified that they were always willing to accommodate any restrictions; and in fact had done so for many years when the claimant had been out on FMLA on personal medical conditions that pre-existed this accident.
Based upon the findings and testimony provided, and in the Order from the Judge of Compensation Claims (JCC), both claims for PTD and psychiatric care were denied. The JCC disagreed with the testimony provided by the claimant and of their experts. Furthermore, the JCC agreed with the defense’s vocational expert, the employer, and with the opinions of the Employer/Carrier’s psychiatric expert.
Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., is a Florida-based law firm providing legal services to corporations, government entities and individuals in the areas of commercial and civil litigation. With six offices throughout the State including Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville and Tallahassee, and attorneys licensed in several states including the U.S. Virgin Islands.