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O’Connor v. Connecticut Light & Power Company

CASE NO. 1536 CRB-8-92-10

COMPENSATION REVIEW BOARD

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION

JUNE 2, 1994

JOHN J. O’CONNOR

CLAIMANT-APPELLANT

v.

CONNECTICUT LIGHT & POWER COMPANY

EMPLOYER/SELF-INSURED

RESPONDENT-APPELLEE

APPEARANCES:

The claimant was represented by Leo J. Barrett, Esq., 62 Buckland Street, Manchester, CT 06040.

The respondent was represented by William Brown, Esq. and Ralph Russo, Esq., McGann, Bartlett & Brown, 281 Hartford Turnpike, Suite 401, Vernon, CT 06066.

This Petition for Review from the October 7, 1992 Finding and Dismissal of the Commissioner for the Eighth District was heard October 29, 1993 before a Compensation Review Board consisting of the Commission Chairman Jesse Frankl and Commissioners George A. Waldron and Donald H. Doyle, Jr.

OPINION

JESSE FRANKL, CHAIRMAN. The claimant alleges that on and prior to August 1, 1989, he suffered from depression which arose out of and during the course of his employment, and as a result he became totally disabled. The evidence before the trial commissioner was in conflict regarding the cause of the claimant’s depression, with Dr. Walter Borden opining that the claimant’s depression was not caused by work stress but by interpersonal stressors in his life. The trial commissioner specifically accepted the views of Dr. Borden and specifically rejected the opposing view of other doctors whose testimony was given and whose reports were introduced into evidence.

On appeal, the claimant contends that the testimony of Dr. Borden was incredible as a matter of law, as it was based on an erroneous understanding of the underlying facts of the claimant’s life, and therefore inadequate to support the dismissal of his claim for compensation. We affirm the trial commissioner.1

The claimant misperceives the scope of our factual inquiry on appeal. It is well settled that the Compensation Review Board “‘is obligated to hear the appeal on the record and may not “retry the facts” . . . . [T]he power and duty of determining the facts rests on the commissioner, the trier of facts . . . . [T]he conclusions drawn by him from the facts found 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.’” Muldoon v. Homestead Insulation Co., 33 Conn. App. 695, 699 (1994), quoting Crochiere v. Board of Education, 227 Conn. 333, 347 (1993). Despite the claimed inconsistencies in Dr. Borden’s testimony, we cannot conclude that no rational trier of fact could credit his testimony. Moreover, the claimed inconsistencies were apparently fully explored by the claimant on cross-examination, and through rebuttal evidence. “Under these circumstances, we refuse to usurp the role of the [trial commissioner] and discredit [Dr. Borden’s] testimony as a matter of law.” State v. White, 229 Conn. 125, 144 (1994).

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

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

1 The claimant has not furnished us with a transcript of the March 2, 1992 formal hearing at which he cross-examined Dr. Borden concerning the basis of his opinions and presented rebuttal evidence directed at the basis of those opinions. “It is the responsibility of the appellant to provide an adequate record for review.” Practice Book Sec. 4061. For this reason alone, we could refuse to review the claimant’s appellate claims. Notwithstanding this defect, we will afford review to the claimant’s appellate arguments based on the representations as to the trial testimony which are contained in his brief. Thus, even assuming the claimant’s arguments are supported by the record, we conclude he is not entitled to the relief he seeks. BACK TO TEXT

Workers’ Compensation Commission

Page last revised: October 15, 2015

Page URL: http://wcc.state.ct.us/crb/1994/1536crb.htm

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