final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
of Accident: June 29, 2015.
appeal from an order of the Judge of Compensation Claims.
John J. Lazzara, Judge.
M. Anderson of Anderson & Hart, P.A., Tallahassee, for
G. Jacobs of Bennett, Jacobs & Adams, P.A., Tampa, for
Brinson failed two illegal-drug tests after falling and
injuring her shoulder on the job at the hospital. She later
sought workers' compensation benefits, but was denied by
her employer-carrier because of the failed tests.
See § 440.09(3), Fla. Stat. (2017). Ms. Brinson
challenged the denial of benefits. But because she failed to
rebut the statutory presumption attributing her injury
primarily to the influence of drugs, see §
440.09(7)(b), we affirm the Judge of Compensation Claims'
decision to deny benefits.
Brinson was working as a housekeeper at a hospital when
towards the end of her shift, she fell and dislocated her
left shoulder. After the accident, a housekeeping supervisor
transported Ms. Brinson to a local medical clinic where she
provided a urine sample pursuant to her employer's
post-accident, drug-testing policy. She failed the tests by
testing positive for the presence of marijuana metabolites on
two tests, an immunoassay test and a confirmatory gas
chromatography mass spectrometry test.
the employer hired Ms. Brinson, she signed a stipulation
acknowledging the employer's drug testing policy, which
I have been fully advised that if I am injured on the job,
regardless of how minor the injury may seem, I am to report
that injury to my supervisor. All employees that are
injured are subject to a drug test.
(Emphasis in original.) She also signed a "Drug Free
Awareness" policy at work acknowledging that she
"may be asked to provide (if there is reasonable
suspicion . . .) body substance samples . . . to determine
whether illicit or illegal drugs . . . have been or are being
of the positive tests, the employer-carrier denied Ms.
Brinson's subsequent claim for workers' compensation
injured employee tests positive for drugs after an accident,
like Ms. Brinson did, Florida's workers' compensation
law "presume[s] that the injury was occasioned primarily
. . . by the influence of the drug upon the employee."
§ 440.09(7)(b), Fla. Stat. And it does not compensate
for the injury. § 440.09(3), Fla. Stat. The law allows
the injured employee, however, to rebut the statutory
presumption denying compensation by presenting clear and