Workers’ compensation — Permanent total disability — Attorney’s fees — Applicable version of section 440.15(1) requiring claimant to prove she suffered “catastrophic injury” to be entitled to PTD benefits — Claimant retiring before reaching maximum medical improvement — Judge of compensation claims erred in denying claimant PTD benefits based on claimant’s retirement date as well as claimant’s age and disability status at the time — Relevant date for determining whether a claimant qualifies for PTD is the date of either MMI or at the expiration of entitlement to temporary benefits, whichever occurs first — JCC erroneously determined that claimant’s retirement severed the causal connection and, for entitlement to PTD benefits post-retirement, claimant had the burden to re-establish causation between the compensable injuries and her inability to return to gainful employment, and to establish that the compensable injuries had deteriorated to such a degree after retirement that she was now disabled — Because claimant was disabled based on five-step analysis used to establish catastrophic injury under controlling statute on the date on which all TTD benefits were exhausted, and remained so on date she reached MMI, the burden shifted to employer/carrier to offer conclusive proof of substantial earning capacity — Remand for entry of order finding claimant entitled to PTD benefits
45 Fla. L. Weekly D886a
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