State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
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Hawley v. Shell Oil Co.

CASE NO. 1663 CRB-4-93-3

COMPENSATION REVIEW BOARD

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION

APRIL 17, 1995

LAWRENCE HAWLEY

CLAIMANT-APPELLANT

v.

SHELL OIL CO.

EMPLOYER

and

ESIS, INC.

INSURER

RESPONDENTS-APPELLEES

APPEARANCES:

The claimant was represented by Christopher Santarsiero, Esq., Moynahan, Ruskin, Mascolo, Minnella & Crozier, 141 East Main St., P.O. Box 2242, Waterbury, CT 06722.

The respondents were represented by David Davis, Esq., McGann, Bartlett, & Brown, 281 Hartford Turnpike, Vernon, CT 06066.

This Petition for Review from the February 23, 1993 Finding of the Commissioner for the Fourth District was heard April 29, 1994 before a Compensation Review Board panel consisting of the Commission Chairman Jesse M. Frankl and Commissioners Angelo L. dos Santos and Nancy A. Brouillet.

OPINION

JESSE M. FRANKL, CHAIRMAN. The claimant has petitioned for review from the Fourth District Commissioner’s February 23, 1993 Finding Re: Form 36. He argues on appeal that the commissioner improperly credited the testimony of two independent medical examiners over the testimony of Dr. Axline, the claimant’s treating physician, in ruling that the claimant was not totally disabled as of June 13, 1991, the date on which the Form 36 was approved. The claimant contends that his treating physician was in the best position to evaluate him, and that it was unreasonable for the commissioner not to rely upon Dr. Axline’s opinion. We affirm the trial commissioner’s decision.

It is indisputable that the testimony and reports of the independent medical examiners provided substantial evidence for the commissioner to rely on in making his decision. The claimant simply argues that the evidence provided by his treating physician should have been given more weight than that of the other doctors because Dr. Axline was in the best position to assess the claimant’s ability to work. However, it is within the province of the trier of fact to assess the weight and credibility to be accorded to the testimony and evidence presented. Romeo v. H&L Chevrolet, Inc., 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 72, 74, 1149 CRD-7-90-12 (March 31, 1992); Cholewinski v. Brake Systems, Inc., 6 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 105, 601 CRD-4-87 (Jan. 27, 1989). There is no rule that the testimony of a treating physician must be given greater weight than the testimony of another doctor. As the reports of the independent medical examiners provided adequate factual support for the commissioner’s conclusion that the claimant was capable of light work, we will not disturb that decision. Fair v. People’s Savings Bank, 207 Conn. 535, 539 (1988).

We affirm the trial commissioner’s decision.

Commissioners Angelo L. dos Santos and Nancy A. Brouillet concur.

Workers’ Compensation Commission

Page last revised: January 21, 2005

Page URL: http://wcc.state.ct.us/crb/1995/1663crb.htm

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