Essential Hypertension is NOT Covered by the Heart and Lung Presumption
In an awful decision, Bivens v. City of Lakeland, 33 Fla. L. Weekly D2342b (October 2, 2008), firefighter Bivens claimed workers’ compensation benefits arguing that his hypertension was a covered condition under the statutory provisions of section 112.18(1).
The First District ruled that essential hypertension was not a form of hypertension covered by Section 112.18(1). Only “hypertensive conditions that are arterial or cardiovascular hypertension” are covered by the Heart and Lung Presumption.
In future posts I will explain the difference between essential, arterial or cardiovascular hypertension.
The new line of defense to First Responder workers compensation claims will be to deny claims on the basis that you don’t have a covered form of hypertension. Your employer/carrier will send you to an IME doctor who will diagnosis you with essential hypertension and then ask for the appointment of an expert medical advisor who will be the tie breaker opinion. The Judge of Compensation Claims must accept the opinion of the EMA.
If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to call our toll free number 727-894-3188.