State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
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Pinto v. B.C. Hardware Superior Products

CASE NO. 1351 CRD-6-91-12

COMPENSATION REVIEW BOARD/DIVISION

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION

OCTOBER 5, 1993

ROY PINTO

CLAIMANT-APPELLEE

v.

B.C. HARDWARE SUPERIOR PRODUCTS

EMPLOYER

and

NEW HAMPSHIRE INSURANCE CO.

INSURER

RESPONDENTS-APPELLANTS

APPEARANCES:

The claimant was represented by Edward D. O’Brien, Esq., 38 Woodland Street, Hartford, CT 06105.

The respondents were represented by James M. Hughes, Esq., McNamara and Kenney, P.O. Box 8187, Brewster Station, Bridgeport, CT 06605.

This Petition for Review from the November 27, 1991 Finding and Award of the Commissioner for the Sixth District was heard November 20, 1992 before a Compensation Review Board panel consisting of the Commission Chairman Jesse Frankl and Commissioners John A. Arcudi and Frank J. Verrilli.

OPINION

JESSE FRANKL, CHAIRMAN. The respondents petitioned for review from the Sixth District Commissioner’s November 27, 1991 Finding and Award. The respondents challenge the trial commissioner’s conclusion that the claimant’s neck and back injuries are causally related to an October 5, 1987 work accident.

On October 5, 1987, the claimant sustained an accidental injury during the course of his employment with the respondent employer. While the claimant was in the process of unloading thirty-two corrugated steel pipes from a flatbed truck, the pipes began to fall causing the claimant to fall off of the truck with the pipes. The claimant became entangled in the heavy load of pipes as they fell to the ground. When the claimant and the pipes fell to the ground, the claimant laid on the pipes with his back, his legs were caught between pipes, and one of the pipes landed on top of him.

The claimant injured his left knee as a result of the October 5, 1987 accident. The respondents acknowledged this as a compensable injury. The claimant claimed, and the commissioner found, that the claimant also injured his neck and back, his right shoulder and both legs as a result of the October 5, 1987 accident. After returning to work, the claimant sustained an aggravation of his back injury in December 1989 while working for the respondent employer. The commissioner concluded that the claimant’s back symptoms became progressively worse subsequent to the injury of October 5, 1987 and that the subsequent diagnosis of a lumbar disc involvement is causally related to the October 5, 1987 injury and the aggravation in December, 1989.

The respondents deny that the claimant’s neck, back and shoulder complaints are causally related to the October 5, 1987 incident. The commissioner found such a causal relationship and concluded that those injuries were therefore compensable. This appeal followed.

On appeal, the respondents contend that the commissioner’s findings are unreasonable and without support in the evidence. We disagree.

The conclusions of a trial commissioner “must stand unless they result from an incorrect application of the law to the subordinate facts or from an inference illegally or unreasonably drawn from them.” Fair v. People’s Savings Bank, 207 Conn. 535, 539 (1988); Adzima v. UAC/Norden Division, 177 Conn. 107, 118 (1979). The respondents’ argument that this case did not involve conflicting or controverted evidence is without merit. Medical records and reports suggesting that the claimant did not seek medical attention for symptoms other than knee pain until a year or more after the October 5, 1987 injury were, in fact, contradicted by the claimant’s testimony. Throughout his testimony, the claimant indicated that he injured his knees, legs, back and neck in the October 5, 1987 incident and informed his treating physician of the same. See, e.g., Transcript of August 8, 1990, pp. 2-3, 5, 18.

The conclusion reached below was dependent upon the weight and credibility accorded the evidence. We will not disturb conclusions which are so based. Tovish v. Gerber Electronics, 32 Conn. App. 595 (1993); Neal v. UTC/Pratt and Whitney, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 163, 1199 CRD-8-91-3 (1992). Because we do not retry the facts, it was within the province of the trial commissioner to resolve any alleged inconsistencies or contradictions in the evidence. See Miller v. Kirshner, 225 Conn. 185, 198-99 (1993); State v. Sherbacow, 21 Conn. App. 474, 479-80, cert. denied, 216 Conn. 808 (1990); State v. Sessler, 33 Conn. Sup. 747, 751, cert. denied, 172 Conn. 702 (1976). Thus, there was evidence presented to support the commissioner’s findings and his ultimate conclusion.

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 John A. Arcudi and Frank J. Verrilli concur.

Workers’ Compensation Commission

Page last revised: January 21, 2016

Page URL: http://wcc.state.ct.us/crb/1993/1351crb.htm

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