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Mucha v. Caval Tool & Machine Co.

CASE NO. 1465 CRB-6-92-7

COMPENSATION REVIEW BOARD

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION

FEBRUARY 28, 1994

MARIAN MUCHA

CLAIMANT-APPELLANT

v.

CAVAL TOOL & MACHINE CO.

EMPLOYER

and

CIGNA

INSURER

RESPONDENTS-APPELLEES

APPEARANCES:

The claimant appeared pro se.

The respondents were represented by Diane D. Duhamel, Esq., Trowbridge, Ide, Mansfield & Schoolcraft, 207 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06106-5314.

This Petition for Review from the July 15, 1992 Finding and Award of the Commissioner At Large acting for the Sixth District was heard May 21, 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. The claimant has petitioned for review from the July 15, 1992 Finding and Award of the Commissioner at Large acting for the Sixth District. At issue in this appeal is the commissioner’s denial of benefits pursuant to General Statutes Sec. 31-308a from March 25, 1991 to March 11, 1992. We affirm the trial commissioner.

The trial commissioner found that the claimant failed to sustain his burden of proving his entitlement to additional benefits pursuant Sec. 31-308a. The commissioner noted inconsistencies between the claimant’s testimony and other evidence presented, which discrepancies the commissioner deemed relevant to his consideration of the claim for ongoing compensation. The commissioner further found that the claimant’s inability to find employment was not the result of his work-related injury to his left foot. The commissioner therefore denied the claimant’s request for Sec. 31-308a benefits.

The claimant asks this tribunal to retry the facts by contending that he met his burden of proof as to his entitlement to Sec. 31-308a benefits. But, we cannot substitute our findings for those of the commissioner, the trier of facts. Fair v. People’s Savings Bank, 207 Conn. 535, 538-42 (1988). An award of additional benefits pursuant to Sec. 31-308a is discretionary. Although the commissioner’s discretion is not unfettered, it must stand unless shown to have been abused. Hicks v. State of Connecticut, 6 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 111, 115, 429 CRD-5-85 (1989), no error, 21 Conn. App. 464, cert. denied, 216 Conn. 804 (1990). The commissioner’s finding that the claimant’s inability to find employment was not the result of his work-related injury properly supported the denial of benefits pursuant to Sec. 31-308a. See Ferrara v. Clifton, 125 Conn. 140 (1939). As the conclusion reached from the facts found did not result from an incorrect application of law or from inferences illegally or unreasonably drawn from those facts, the conclusion must stand. Fair v. People’s Savings Bank, supra, 539.

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

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

Workers’ Compensation Commission

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Page URL: http://wcc.state.ct.us/crb/1994/1465crb.htm

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