State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
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Santucci v. Remodeling Consultants, Inc.

CASE NO. 1438 CRB-7-92-6

COMPENSATION REVIEW BOARD

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION

FEBRUARY 28, 1994

GERALD SANTUCCI

CLAIMANT-APPELLANT

v.

REMODELING CONSULTANTS, INC.

EMPLOYER

and

THE NEW YORK STATE INSURANCE FUND

INSURER

RESPONDENTS-APPELLEES

APPEARANCES:

The claimant was represented by Brendan T. Canty, Esq., and Anastasios T. Savvaides, Esq., Reid, Cafero & Corsello, P.O. Box 2108, Norwalk, CT 06852.

The respondents were represented by Carolyn Signorelli, Esq., Maher & Williams, P.O. Box 269, Bridgeport, CT 06601.

This Petition for Review from the June 12, 1992 Post-Remand Finding and Dismissal of the Commissioner for the Seventh District was heard April 16, 1993 before a Compensation Review Board panel consisting of the Commission Chairman Jesse Frankl and Commissioners George A. Waldron and Donald H. Doyle, Jr.

OPINION

JESSE FRANKL, CHAIRMAN. In this appeal, the claimant challenges the trial commissioner’s refusal to entertain his claim based on a lack of jurisdiction. We affirm the trial commissioner.

This matter was previously before this tribunal. In Santucci v. Remodeling Consultants, Inc., 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 66, 1140 CRD-7-90-11 (1992), we remanded the case to the trial commissioner to apply our Supreme Court’s ruling in Cleveland v. U.S. Printing Ink, Inc., 218 Conn. 181 (1991), to the facts found and determine if Connecticut was the place of the employment relationship. On remand, the commissioner concluded that New York, and not Connecticut, was the place of the employment relationship and dismissed the claim.1 This appeal followed.

Claimant was employed by the respondent-employer, a New York corporation having its principal office in Mamaroneck, New York and registered as a foreign corporation with the Secretary of State of the State of Connecticut. The respondent-employer was engaged in the business of home remodeling and construction in Westchester County, New York and lower Fairfield County, Connecticut. On October 30, 1989, the claimant suffered an injury to his back, the compensability of which was accepted under the workers’ compensation laws of the State of New York and benefits paid. Claimant had secured employment with the respondent-employer as a result of responding to an advertisement in a Connecticut newspaper and an interview held at the respondent employer’s home office in Mamaroneck, New York. At that time the claimant was of the impression that his work assignment would be that of a working foreman in Connecticut. The general manager of the employer, Jerome Zaccharia, Jr., testified while the employer intended to accommodate the claimant’s Connecticut job site preference, the work was not limited to Connecticut.

The claimant was hired and started work on November 1, 1988. After a few weeks of training in New York, he was assigned various projects located in Connecticut. On or about October 12, 1989, claimant commenced the first of two assignments located in New York. Claimant’s assignment to the New York projects was the result of a slow-down in Connecticut work projects and was an alternative to being laid off. The commissioner additionally found that the direction and supervision of each job to which the claimant was assigned originated from the employer’s Mamaroneck, New York office.

Certainly, as the claimant argues and the commissioner’s findings show, the year-long employment relationship between the parties had significant contacts with Connecticut. The claimant was recruited by means of an advertisement in a Connecticut newspaper. The employer was licensed to do business and did business in Connecticut. In fact, in the one year that he was employed by the respondent-employer, nearly all of the claimant’s work was performed in Connecticut.

Yet, the focus of the inquiry with respect to jurisdiction must be from the perspective of the relation of the parties at the time of the injury. See Clough v. Estate of Malley, 126 Conn. 379 (1940). Notwithstanding the extensive and nearly exclusive Connecticut-based employment relationship prior to mid-October, 1989, the commissioner found that from October 12 or 13, 1989 until the date of injury on October 30, 1989, the claimant was assigned to New York projects as an alternative to being laid off. Thus, at the time of the injury and for the foreseeable future, the claimant was likely to continue to work in New York if he remained in the employ of the respondent-employer.2 The claimant’s work in New York at the time of his injury, then, was not a temporary interruption in his otherwise Connecticut-based employment. The trial commissioner, therefore, could have reasonably concluded that, at the time of injury, the place of the employment relationship had shifted to New York.

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

Commissioners George A. Waldron and Donald H. Doyle, Jr. concur.

1 The trial commissioner also found that Connecticut was neither the place of injury nor the place of the employment contract. These findings are not challenged on appeal. BACK TO TEXT

2 This fact was noted in paragraph 16E of the commissioner’s original (November 20, 1990) Finding and Dismissal. While the commissioner did not specifically incorporate that finding into his subsequent (June 12, 1992) Post-Remand Finding and Dismissal, it is a reasonable inference to be drawn from the facts as found by the commissioner in support of his ultimate conclusion. BACK TO TEXT

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Page last revised: November 13, 2015

Page URL: http://wcc.state.ct.us/crb/1994/1438crb.htm

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