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Fasano v. D’Addario Industries

CASE NO. 1937 CRB-4-93-12

COMPENSATION REVIEW BOARD

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION

JUNE 20, 1995

EDWARD FASANO

CLAIMANT-APPELLANT

v.

D’ADDARIO INDUSTRIES

EMPLOYER

and

HARTFORD INSURANCE GROUP

INSURER

RESPONDENTS-APPELLEES

APPEARANCES:

The claimant was represented by Eric R. Brown, Esq., Secor, Cassidy & McPartland, P.C., 41 Church St., P. O. Box 2818, Waterbury, CT 06723-2818.

The employer and its insurer were represented by Michael McAuliffe, Esq., Pomeranz, Drayton & Stabnick, 95 Glastonbury Boulevard, Glastonbury, CT 06033-4412.

The Petition for Review from the December 21, 1993 Finding and Dismissal of the Commissioner for the Fourth District was heard December 16, 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 of the Fourth District Commissioner’s Finding and Dismissal. On appeal, the claimant challenges the trial commissioner’s determination that the claimant was an independent contractor rather than an employee of the respondent employer, and thus was not entitled to benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act. We affirm the trial commissioner.

The claimant contends that the employer had “complete control” over the work activities which the claimant performed as a security director and as the director of operations at the employer’s facility. At oral argument, the claimant specifically emphasized his conduct of accepting additional job duties without additional compensation after he had signed a consultant agreement with the employer. The claimant contends that such conduct is “inconsistent with a conclusion that the security consultant agreement controlled the relationship....” (Claimant’s Brief at p. 6) We do not find the act of accepting additional job duties without additional pay to be dispositive of the issue of whether the claimant was an employee or an independent contractor.

“The fundamental distinction between an employee and an independent contractor depends upon the existence or nonexistence of the right to control the means and method of work.” Calamari v. Durham-Middlefield Interlocal Advisory Board, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 397, 398, 1577 CRB-8-92-11 (Sept. 8, 1994). Whether a claimant is an employee or an independent contractor is a question of fact. Pichardo v. East-West Theatre Productions, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 186, 1553 CRB-3-92-11 (May 2, 1994).

In the instant case, the trial commissioner found that “there were no set hours when the claimant had to work and he could come and go as he pleased.” (Finding No. 16) The commissioner further found that the claimant “as an experienced individual in the security field, performed the work by his own methods and without control of the respondent.” (Finding No. 19) On this basis, the commissioner concluded that the claimant was an independent contractor and thus dismissed the claim. The commissioner’s determination was supported by the evidence and was neither based on impermissible or unreasonable factual inferences nor contrary to law. Accordingly, it must stand. See Fair v. People’s Savings Bank, 207 Conn. 535, 539 (1988).

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

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/1995/1937crb.htm

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