State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
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Holle v. The William Backus Hospital

CASE NO. 2039 CRB-2-94-4

COMPENSATION REVIEW BOARD

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION

JUNE 29, 1995

CYNTHIA HOLLE

CLAIMANT-APPELLANT

v.

THE WILLIAM BACKUS HOSPITAL

EMPLOYER

and

EMPLOYERS INSURANCE OF WAUSAU

INSURER

RESPONDENTS-APPELLEES

APPEARANCES:

The claimant was represented by Philip F. Spillane, Esq., Baker, Moots & Pellegrini, P.C., 46 Main St., New Milford, CT 06776.

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

This Petition for Review from the April 20, 1994 Finding and Dismissal of the Commissioner acting for the Second District, was heard March 10, 1995 before a Compensation Review Board Panel consisting of Commissioners George Waldron, Roberta Smith D’Oyen, and Amado J. Vargas.

OPINION

GEORGE WALDRON, COMMISSIONER. The claimant has filed a Petition for Review from the April 20, 1994 Finding and Dismissal of the commissioner acting for the Second District.1 The trial commissioner found that the claimant failed to sustain her burden of proof that she suffered any injuries which were causally related to her employment. Specifically, the trial commissioner found that the claimant, a registered nurse, failed to establish that her symptoms were causally related to a vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella which was administered on April 27, 1990. In support of her appeal, the claimant argues against the admissibility of the deposition of the claimant’s treating physician and an exhibit attached thereto, specifically a January, 1988 rubella screen. We affirm the trial commissioner.

Workers’ compensation commissioners are not bound by common law or statutory rules of evidence, “but shall make inquiry, through oral testimony or written and printed records, in a manner that is best calculated to ascertain the substantial rights of the parties and carry out the provisions and intent of this chapter.” General Statutes § 31-298 C.G.S. Depositions of physicians are generally admissible in workers’ compensation proceedings. See Maylott v. Williams Engineering, 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 320, 1353 CRD-6-91-12 (December 23, 1993), see also § 52-149a C.G.S.

In the instant case, the claimant’s attorney attended the deposition of the claimant’s treating rheumatologist, Robert Levin, M.D., and exercised his right to cross-examine him. The parties agreed at the deposition to raise all objections during the deposition rather than at the formal hearing. The claimant’s attorney did not object to the admissibility of the January, 1988 rubella screen which the respondents submitted as an exhibit at the deposition. The claimant’s attorney merely objected to the form of the January, 1988 rubella screen report. (Finding of Fact No. e.) Subsequently, at the formal hearing, the deposition of Dr. Levin along with three attached exhibits was entered as Respondents’ Exhibit No. 4. We find no error.

It is the commissioner’s role to consider the evidence and determine the facts. Adzima v. UAC/Norden Division, 177 Conn. 107, 117 (1979); Tovish v. Gerber Electronics, 32 Conn. App. 595, 598 (1993), appeal dismissed, 229 Conn. 587 (1994). “The 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.” Adzima v. UAC/Norden Division, supra, 118. This includes the making of a determination whether an injury arose out of and in the course of employment. Fair v. People’s Savings Bank, 207 Conn. 535, 541 (1988). In the instant case, there is sufficient evidence in the record to support the commissioner’s determination that the claimant’s medical condition was not causally related to the vaccine.2

We affirm the decision of the trial commissioner.

Commissioners Roberta Smith D’Oyen and Amado J. Vargas concur.

1 A decision denying the claimant’s motion to submit additional evidence was issued by this Board on May 10, 1995. BACK TO TEXT

2 In a letter dated December 28, 1990, Dr. Levin explained that he could not render an opinion regarding whether the claimant’s condition was related to the vaccination of the claimant on April 27, 1990 because several questions were left unanswered. (Finding of Fact No. 16.) Over two years later, on September 30, 1993, Dr. Levin testified that in his opinion, the vaccination was not a cause of the claimant’s medical condition. (Finding of Fact f.) In addition, another specialist chosen by the claimant, Dr. Ruderman, opined that he could not make a diagnosis regarding causation with any certainty. (Finding of Fact No. 19.) BACK TO TEXT

Workers’ Compensation Commission

Page last revised: January 21, 2005

Page URL: http://wcc.state.ct.us/crb/1995/2039-2cr.htm

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