Error to Allow Proof of Receipt of Workers Compensation Benefits into Evidence at Trial

Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

Landmark Cases

COOK, v. ENEY, M.D., 277 So. 2d 848; (Fla. App. 3rd 1973)

PROCEDURAL POSTURE: Appellant sought review of a judgment from the trial court (Florida) in favor of appellee medical doctor in a medical malpractice suit.

OVERVIEW: Appellant brought suit against appellee medical doctor for medical malpractice. A jury entered a verdict for appellee and the trial court entered judgment. Appellant sought review of judgment in favor of appellee. The court stated the general rule that to bring before the jury information as to an injured plaintiff’s right to workmen’s compensation benefits constituted prejudicial error, since such information would be likely to influence the jury against the plaintiff. The court found that the trial court erred in allowing appellee’s counsel to question appellant with respect to his receipt of social security and workmen’s compensation benefits, and thus reversed the decision.

OUTCOME: The court reversed the judgment of the trial court and remanded for new trial. The court held that appellant was prejudiced by questions with respect to his receipt of social security and workmen’s compensation benefits.