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Rindos v. J.F. Barrett & Sons

CASE NO. 3188 CRB-3-95-8

COMPENSATION REVIEW BOARD

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION

FEBRUARY 27, 1997

MAJORIE RINDOS

CLAIMANT-APPELLANT

v.

J.F. BARRETT & SONS

EMPLOYER

and

MARYLAND INSURANCE GROUP

INSURER

RESPONDENT-APPELLEES

APPEARANCES:

The claimant was represented by Joseph L. Gillis, Esq., Gillis & Gillis, 2 Whitney Ave., New Haven, CT 06510.

The respondents were represented by Raymond Hassett, Esq., Hassett, George & Siegel, P.C., 567 Franklin Ave., Hartford, CT 06114.

This Petition for Review from the August 24, 1995 Finding and Dismissal of the Commissioner acting for the Third District was heard August 30, 1996 before a Compensation Review Board panel consisting of the Commission Chairman Jesse M. Frankl and Commissioners George Waldron and Robin L. Wilson.

OPINION

JESSE M. FRANKL, CHAIRMAN. The claimant has petitioned for review from the August 24, 1995 Finding and Dismissal of the trial commissioner acting for the Third District. In that decision, the trial commissioner found that the claimant failed to appear at the formal hearing which was held on August 24, 1995 after proper notice of the hearing had been forwarded. Accordingly, the trial commissioner dismissed the claimant’s claim for workers’ compensation benefits due to her failure to appear and prosecute said claim. In support of her appeal, the claimant contends that an “emergency” arose due to the claimant’s need to report to work on August 24, 1995. The claimant further contends that claimant’s counsel notified the respondents’ counsel on August 23, 1995 of the need to reschedule the formal hearing, and that claimant’s counsel notified the trial commissioner on August 24, 1995 at the start of the scheduled formal hearing. We find no error on the part of the trial commissioner.

Administrative Regulation § 31-279-2 provides: “Punctual appearance by an authorized representative at every conference or hearing assigned by the commissioner is required, unless such attendance is excused by the commissioner prior to the conference or hearing.” Moreover, Administrative Regulation § 31-279-4 states in part that “[n]o party can assume the granting of a continuance to produce witnesses at a later date, or for any other reason not regularly recognized in a judicial proceeding.” It is within the broad discretion of the commissioner to grant or deny a continuance, and such a decision is virtually unreviewable. Mercado v. Personal Moving Services, 14 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 364, 2023 CRB-4-94-5 (Sept. 26, 1995); Muniz v. Koteas, 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 284, 1720 CRB-4-93-5 (April 21, 1995).

In her appeal, the claimant contends that she requested a postponement of the hearing on the day of the scheduled hearing. Pursuant to § 31-279-2 the claimant was required to attend the hearing in the absence of approval from the trial commissioner prior to the hearing. We conclude that it was within the trial commissioner’s discretion to deny the claimant’s request for a continuance and to dismiss the claim.

The trial commissioner’s decision is affirmed.

Commissioners George Waldron and Robin L. Wilson concur.

Workers’ Compensation Commission

Page last revised: June 13, 2005

Page URL: http://wcc.state.ct.us/crb/1997/3188crb.htm

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