State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
Home News RSS News QUICK Find Index Search E-Mail
General Information Glossary Law CRB Opinions Workers' Compensation Commission Downloadable Forms and Publications Links

Bryan v. Sheraton-Hartford Hotel

CASE NO. 3320 CRB-1-96-4

COMPENSATION REVIEW BOARD

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION

MARCH 12, 1997

BENITA BRYAN

CLAIMANT-APPELLANT

v.

SHERATON-HARTFORD HOTEL

EMPLOYER

and

INSURANCE COMPANY OF NORTH AMERICA

INSURER

RESPONDENTS-APPELLEES

APPEARANCES:

The claimant was represented by Kimberly Graham, Esq., 621 Farmington Ave., Hartford, CT 06105.

The respondents were represented by Diane Duhamel, Esq., Trowbridge, Schoolcraft & Basine, 207 Main St., Hartford, CT 06106.

This Motion to Submit Additional Evidence, which was filed by the claimant in conjunction with the claimant’s Petition for Review from the March 28, 1996 Finding and Dismissal of the Commissioner for the First District, was heard January 10, 1997 before a Compensation Review Board Panel consisting of the Commission Chairman Jesse M. Frankl and commissioners James J. Metro and John A. Mastropietro.

RULING ON MOTION TO SUBMIT ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE

JESSE M. FRANKL, CHAIRMAN. The claimant has filed a Motion to Submit Additional Evidence in conjunction with her appeal from the March 28, 1996 Finding and Dismissal of the trial commissioner acting for the First District. The trial commissioner found that the claimant sustained a compensable injury to her back due to a fall at work on December 23, 1989, and that a voluntary agreement had been approved which listed the claimant’s injury as lumbar strain. The trial commissioner further found that the claimant failed to meet her burden of proof that other alleged medical conditions were caused by the compensable injury.

In her motion to submit additional evidence, the claimant seeks to present a medical report from Dr. Selden dated April 12, 1996, which relates the claimant’s shoulder condition to her compensable injury. In addition, the claimant seeks to present a medical report form Dr. Levine dated November 25, 1996 which relates the claimant’s “stress depression” to the compensable injury. In support of this motion, the claimant contends that the medical reports were issued following treatment which occurred after the formal hearing and thus the reports were not available at the time of the formal hearing. We note that the claimant appeared pro se during the formal hearings before the trial commissioner.

It is the claimant’s burden to prove that her disability is causally related to her compensable injury. Therefore, it is also the claimant’s burden to recognize and resolve any inconsistencies in the evidence at the formal hearing, whether or not those discrepancies seemed significant to the claimant at the time of the hearing. Peters v. Corporate Air, Inc., 1679 CRB-5-93-3 (March 14, 1994); Lesczynski v. New Britain Memorial Hospital, 10 Conn. Workers Comp. Rev. Op. 205, 208-9, 1289 CRD-6-91-9 (Dec. 2, 1992). Moreover, a motion to submit additional evidence may not properly be used to alter a party’s evidentiary decisions regarding the presentation of evidence at a formal hearing. Lesczynski, supra; Lange v. J & B Excavating & Paving, 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 42, 1249 CRD-3-91-6 (March 18, 1993).

We will first address the report by Dr. Levine dated November 25, 1996. In the instant case, a medical report regarding the causation of the claimant’s alleged “stress depression” was not presented at the formal hearing. The claimant has failed to show good reason for presenting a medical opinion on this issue after the formal hearing had been closed. See Lesczynski, supra. Moreover, the claimant offers no indication that the proffered evidence was really new or that it was undiscoverable with due diligence at the time of the original hearings. Id., see also Murdock v. Squires, 6 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 64, 66, 550 CRD-7-87 (Dec. 1, 1988). We thus conclude that the claimant has failed to satisfy the requirements of Conn. Agencies Reg. § 31-301-9.

We will next address the report from Dr. Selden dated April 12, 1996. The trial commissioner found that the reports issued by Dr. Selden did not substantiate the claimant’s claim that she had a shoulder condition which was caused by the compensable injury. (Finding No. 20). As Dr. Selden’s report dated April 12, 1996 appears to contradict his prior reports which were relied upon by the trial commissioner, we will grant the claimant’s motion to submit that report. See Canfield v. Consolidated Freightways, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 59, 1125 CRD-7-90-10 (Feb. 21, 1992).

We , therefore, grant the claimant’s Motion to Submit Additional Evidence limited to the report from Dr. Selden dated April 12, 1996, and remand this matter to the trial commissioner.

Commissioners James J. Metro and John A. Mastropietro concur.

Workers’ Compensation Commission

Page last revised: June 13, 2005

Page URL: http://wcc.state.ct.us/crb/1997/3320crb.htm

Workers’ Compensation Commission Disclaimer, Privacy Policy and Website Accessibility

State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
Home News RSS News QUICK Find Index Search E-Mail
General Information Glossary Law CRB Opinions Workers' Compensation Commission Downloadable Forms and Publications Links