IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL
FIRST DISTRICT, STATE OF FLORIDA
INSURANCE TRUST f/k/a
FLORIDA LEAGUE OF CITIES
and HOLMES CITY ROAD
NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO
FILE MOTION FOR REHEARING AND
DISPOSITION THEREOF IF FILED
CASE NO. 1D04-1769
STERLING COOK n/k/a NORTH
AMERICAN RISK SERVICES and
HOLMES CITY ROAD
Opinion filed March 17, 2005.
An appeal from an order of the Judge of Compensation Claims.
Honorable Laura Roesch, Judge.
Douglas F. Miller, Esquire, Clark, Partington, Hart, Larry, Bond & Stackhouse,
Pensacola, for Appellants.
Kimberly A. Hill, Esquire, Conroy, Simberg, Ganon, Krevans & Abel, P.A.,
Hollywood, for Appellees.
Florida Municipal Insurance Trust f/k/a/ Florida League of Cities (“carrier
one”) appeals the order of the Judge of Compensation Claims (“JCC”) requiring
reimbursement to Sterling Cook n/k/a North American Risk Services (“carrier two”)
for claimant’s benefits and medical expenses that carrier two paid. Carrier one argues
on appeal that the JCC erred in (1) overruling its objection to admission of Dr.
Vervoort’s deposition testimony, (2) accepting Dr. Vervoort’s opinions over those of
Dr. Williams, and (3) finding that carrier one is responsible for reimbursing carrier
two the cost of the claimant’s psychiatric treatment because carrier one did not timely
contest the claim. We affirm the JCC’s admission of Dr. Vervoort’s testimony at the
final hearing and the acceptance of the doctor’s opinions over those of Dr. Williams
without further comment.
We reverse, however, the portion of the JCC’s order requiring carrier one to
reimburse carrier two’s payment of claimant’s psychiatric treatment because carrier
one timely contested the claim. The record reveals that carrier two requested
reimbursement in general terms from carrier one, and carrier one in turn denied
responsibility for claimant’s medical treatment and other benefits in general terms as
well. There is no evidence in the record that carrier one was aware of the specific bills
and costs for which carrier two sought reimbursement until it received carrier two's
pay ledger after filing the pre-trial stipulation.
A party cannot object to or contest a claim until it has knowledge of it. Cf.
Sears Roebuck & Co. v. Polchinski, 636 So. 2d 1369, 1371 (Fla. 4th DCA 1994)
(stating that “[a] timely objection is essential if the party has knowledge of the
erroneous conduct at the time it occurred”). Under the circumstances, carrier one's
“objection” to carrier two's claim for reimbursement of the cost of psychiatric
treatment was timely. Accordingly, we reverse the JCC’s order in this regard and
remand for consideration of carrier two’s claim for reimbursement of the cost of
claimant’s psychiatric treatment on the merits.
AFFIRMED in part; REVERSED in part and REMANDED.
VAN NORTWICK, POLSTON AND THOMAS, JJ., CONCUR.