State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
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Cavanaugh v. American Wire Corporation

CASE NO. 3214 CRB-4-95-11

COMPENSATION REVIEW BOARD

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION

MARCH 4, 1997

MICHAEL CAVANAUGH

CLAIMANT-APPELLEE

v.

AMERICAN WIRE CORPORATION

EMPLOYER

and

CHUBB & SON INC.

INSURER

RESPONDENTS-APPELLANTS

and

TRAVELERS INSURANCE CO.

INSURER

and

SECOND INJURY FUND

RESPONDENTS-APPELLEES

APPEARANCES:

The claimant was represented by Cousins & Johnson, 2563 Main St., Stratford, CT 06497, who did not appear at oral argument.

The respondent Chubb & Son was represented by Christopher T. Goulden, Esq., Mihaly & Kascak, 925 White Plains Rd., Trumbull, CT 06611.

The respondent employer and Travelers was represented by Joseph Pasaretti, Esq., Law Offices of Christine L. Harrigan, 18 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, CT 06103.

The Second Injury Fund was represented by Kenneth H. Kennedy, Jr., Esq., Assistant Attorney General, P. O. Box 120, 55 Elm St., Hartford, CT 06141-0120.

This Petition for Review from the October 24, 1995 Ruling of the Commissioner acting for the Fourth District was heard August 16, 1996 before a Compensation Review Board panel consisting of Commission Chairman Jesse M. Frankl and Commissioners George Waldron and Robin L. Wilson.

DISMISSAL ORDER

JESSE M. FRANKL, CHAIRMAN. The respondent insurer Chubb & Son (hereinafter “appellant”) has filed a petition for review from the October 24, 1995 order of the trial commissioner acting for the Fourth District. In that oral ruling, the trial commissioner ordered the issue of the appellant’s request to transfer liability pursuant to § 31-349, which was contested by the Second Injury Fund, to be heard by a medical panel pursuant to § 4(a) of Public Act 95-277. Public Act 95-277, § 4(a) provides that a medical panel, rather than the trial commissioner, shall decide “all controverted issues regarding the existence of a previous disability under section 31-349....” See Hall v. Gilbert & Bennett Manufacturing Co., Case No. 3139 CRB-7-95-8 (Sept. 9, 1996).

In the instant case, the trial commissioner’s order was made orally during a formal hearing on October 24, 1995 during which all interested parties were present. Subsequently, during said hearing, the trial commissioner recused herself due to a conflict of interest. The trial commissioner stated that the matter was “erroneously scheduled” before her and that she “should not be hearing this case.” (10/24/95 TR. at p. 9). Because the trial commissioner recused herself, the trial commissioner should not have made any rulings or orders. The trial commissioner’s October 24, 1995 order is thus null and void. Accordingly, as there is no valid decision from which to appeal, the appeal is dismissed.

The appellant may request a new hearing with another trial commissioner.

The appellant’s appeal is dismissed.

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/1997/3214crb.htm

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