State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
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Pearston v. Carrier Corporation et al.

CASE NO. 3167 CRB 8-95-9

COMPENSATION REVIEW BOARD

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION

APRIL 19, 1996

GLADYS PEARSTON, Dependent Widow of ROBERT PEARSTON (DECEASED)

CLAIMANT-APPELLEE

v.

CARRIER CORPORATION, ET AL

EMPLOYER

RESPONDENTS-APPELLEES

and

SECOND INJURY FUND

RESPONDENT-APPELLANT

APPEARANCES:

The claimant was represented by Leonard Bren, Esq., Corporate Center West, 433 South Main St., West Hartford, CT 06110.

The respondents Carrier Corporation/Carrier Corp., United Technologies Corporation and Liberty Mutual were represented by Attorney Timothy D. Ward, Law Offices of Nancy S. Rosenbaum, 655 Winding Brook Drive, Glastonbury, CT 06033, who did not appear at oral argument.

The respondents J.B. Pearston & Sons, Inc., Johnson Controls, Carrrier Corporation and the Travelers Insurance Co. were represented by Attorney Joseph J. Passaretti, Jr., Law Offices of Christine L. Harrigan, 1952 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT 06517.

The respondents Carrier Corp., United Technologies Corporation, CIGNA, M.J. Daily & Sons, Inc. and the Hartford Insurance Group were represented by Attorney Lucas D. Strunk, Esq., Pomeranz, Drayton & Stabnick, 95 Glastonbury Boulevard, Glastonbury, CT 06033-4412, who did not appear at oral argument.

The respondents Town of West Hartford and Travelers Insurance Company were represented by McGann, Bartlett & Brown, 281 Hartford Turnpike, Suite 401, Vernon, CT 06066, who did not appear at oral argument.

The Second Injury Fund was represented by Michael J. Belzer, Esq. and accompanied by Michael Giammatteo, Esq., Assistant Attorneys General, 55 Elm Street, P.O. Box 120 Hartford, CT 06141-0120.

This Petition for Review from the September 13, 1995 Finding and Award of the Commissioner acting for the Eighth District was heard March 15, 1996 before a Compensation Review Board panel consisting of the Commission Chairman Jesse M. Frankl and Commissioners George Waldron and Robin L. Wilson.

DISMISSAL

JESSE M. FRANKL, CHAIRMAN. The Second Injury Fund (“Fund”) has filed a petition for review from the Eighth District Commissioner’s September 13, 1995 Finding and Award. The Fund has failed to file a motion to correct. In addition, the Fund’s reasons of appeal were filed untimely.

The Fund has failed to file its reasons of appeal in a timely manner in accordance with § 31-301-2. Specifically, the Fund filed its reasons of appeal along with its brief on January 17, 1996. Section 31-301-2 requires an appellant to file reasons of appeal within ten days of filing the appeal petition. In the instant case, the Fund filed its appeal petition on September 22, 1995. Subsequently, the Fund filed its Motion for Extension of Time to File Reasons of Appeal dated September 20, 1995. In that motion, the Fund requested an extension based upon its contention that it was in need of the transcript, exhibits, and depositions and that “(s)aid materials are required for a proper submission of a Motion to Correct....” The motion requested that the time limit be extended until two weeks following the decision on such motion to correct. The Fund’s motion was granted. In addition, the trial commissioner on November 8, 1995, granted the Fund’s motion for an extension until November 30, 1995 for the filing of a motion to correct. However, the Fund never filed a motion to correct. Moreover, the Fund did not file its reasons of appeal until it submitted its brief on January 17, 1996, approximately four months after its petition for review had been filed.

As the Fund has neglected to actively pursue its appeal, we will dismiss the appeal for failure to prosecute with proper diligence pursuant to Practice Book § 4055. See Grey v. Greenwood Health Care Center, 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 273, 1854 CRB-1-93-9 (April 19, 1995) (Fund’s appeal dismissed due to failure to file timely reasons of appeal); Divita v. Thames Valley Steel, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 50, 1541 CRB-2-92-10 (Jan. 26, 1994) (Fund’s appeal dismissed for failure to prosecute appeal with proper diligence).

We note that the issue of whether the Fund included misrepresentations of fact in support of its Motion for Extension of Time to File Motion to Correct dated September 20, 1995 and its Motion for Extension of Time to File Reasons of Appeal dated September 20, 1995, has been raised by the claimant. Because of the seriousness of these allegations, we will now briefly address that issue. In its motions for extensions of time referenced above, the Fund asserted that it required an extension of time until it received the transcripts of the formal hearings and copies of the documents in the record. The claimant contends that the Fund had already received the transcripts of the formal hearings sometime in May of 1994; that the entire record, including all exhibits, was available for inspection and copying at the district office; and that the Fund had received copies of all exhibits during its participation in the formal hearing.1

At oral argument before this board, the Fund did not deny the claimant’s contentions as set forth above. Rather, at oral argument the Fund’s representative admitted that the Fund was in possession of the transcripts prior to filing the motions for extension of time in which motions the Fund contended that it had not yet received said transcripts. In its defense, the representative of the Fund contended that “the right hand was not aware of what the left hand was doing.” Certainly, representatives of government agencies must act with integrity, truthfulness, and due diligence at all times in order to uphold the public trust. The Fund’s defense of bureaucratic “bungling” does not serve to exempt it from the standards of professionalism which must be met by all members of the bar.

The Fund’s appeal is dismissed.

Commissioners George Waldron and Robin L. Wilson concur.

1 In fact, the claimant has attached an affidavit signed by the hearing reporter which states that she sent the transcripts of the formal hearings to the Second Injury Fund on or immediately after April 29, 1994. BACK TO TEXT

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