State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
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Anderson v. State of Connecticut/UCONN Health Center

CASE NO. 1318 CRD-6-91-10

COMPENSATION REVIEW BOARD/DIVISION

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION

SEPTEMBER 23, 1993

MARTHA ANDERSON

CLAIMANT-APPELLEE

v.

STATE OF CONNECTICUT/UCONN HEALTH CENTER

EMPLOYER

RESPONDENT-APPELLANT

APPEARANCES:

The claimant was represented by Peter N. Upton, Esq. and Jeffrey J. Oliviera, Esq., Tarlow, Levy and Droney, P.C., P.O. Box 887, 74 Batterson Park Road, Farmington, CT 06034-0887.

The respondent was represented by Brewster Blackall, Esq. and Robin Wilson, Esq., Assistant Attorneys General, 55 Elm Street, P.O. Box 120, Hartford, CT 06101-0120.

This Petition for Review from the September 25, 1991 Finding and Award of the Commissioner for the Sixth District was heard October 30, 1992 before a Compensation Review Board panel consisting of the Commission Chairman Jesse Frankl and Commissioners Angelo L. dos Santos and Donald H. Doyle, Jr.

OPINION

JESSE FRANKL, CHAIRMAN. The respondent petitioned for review of the Sixth District Commissioner’s Finding and Award. Based on the evidence presented, the trial commissioner found that the claimant’s work environment and accompanying job-related stress was a substantial contributing factor to the claimant’s psychiatric disability and that the claimant’s disability was, therefore, compensable under the Workers’ Compensation Act. On appeal, the respondent claims that (1) a purely mental stress condition or psychiatric disorder cannot be found to be a compensable injury under the Act in the absence of any related physical aspect of injury and (2) the claimant did not prove a prima facie case of compensability in that she failed to testify in support of her claim. We affirm the Sixth District’s Finding and Award.1

The respondent’s claims require little discussion. As to the first claim, it is now settled that “mental disorders, even if not accompanied by physical trauma to the body, constitute an injury under the act.” Crochiere v. Board of Education, 227 Conn. 333, 363 (1993), aff’d, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 165, 1069 CRB-1-90-7 (1992); see also Henderson v. Brinks, Inc., 5 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 115, 466 CRD-4-86 (1988); Zipoli v. Watertown, 3 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 23, 215 CRD-5-83 (1986).2 As to the second claim, the respondent makes a wholesale attack on the quality of the evidence without reference to specified pages in the transcript or citation to any authority. The respondent has not filed a Motion to Correct and thus the factual findings of the trial commissioner must stand. Vanzant v. Hall, 219 Conn. 674, 677-81 (1991); McCarthy v. 10 Star Corporation,10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 64, 1134 CRD- 2-90-11 (1992). Furthermore, determinations of credibility and of any adverse inference to be drawn from a claimant’s failure to testify are for the trial commissioner, not this Board, to make. See Fair v. People’s Savings Bank, 207 Conn. 535, 538-42 (1988); Secondino v. New Haven Gas Co., 147 Conn. 672, 674-77 (1960); see also Moccia v. Ecker, 7 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 10, 12, 620 CRD-7-87 (1989). Finally, the respondent’s general references to hearsay testimony relied on by the commissioner is unavailing. See Brown v. Blauvelt, 152 Conn. 272, 274 (1964).

We, therefore, affirm the trial commissioner and deny the appeal.

Additionally, pursuant to Sec. 31-301c(b), we grant interest at the rate permitted by statute on any amount remaining unpaid during the pendency of the appeal.

Commissioners Angelo L. dos Santos and Donald H. Doyle, Jr. concur.

1 While this appeal was pending, the claimant filed a Motion for Dismissal of Appeal based on the respondent’s alleged lack of diligence in pursuing this appeal. Although we do not approve of the unexplained delay by the respondent in this case, we chose not to exercise our discretionary authority to dismiss the appeal for lack of diligence. See Practice Book Sec. 4055; Maykut v. Plasko, 170 Conn. 310, 313 (1976). BACK TO TEXT

2 The claimant’s psychiatric disability predates the effective date of Public Act 93-228. The amendments to the definition of “personal injury” or “injury” contained in Section 1 of Public Act 93-228 are, therefore, not applicable to this case. BACK TO TEXT

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State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
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