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Dubret v. Town of Fairfield Police Dept.

CASE NO. 3495 CRB-04-96-12

COMPENSATION REVIEW BOARD

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION

APRIL 1, 1998

DAVID DUBRET

CLAIMANT-APPELLANT

v.

TOWN OF FAIRFIELD POLICE DEPT.

EMPLOYER

and

SEDGWICK JAMES, INC.

SELF-INSURED ADMINISTRATOR

RESPONDENTS-APPELLEES

APPEARANCES:

The claimant was represented by David J. Morrissey, Esq., 203 Church St., P. O. Box 31, Naugatuck, CT 06770.

The respondents were represented by James Moran, Jr., Esq., Maher & Williams, 1300 Post Road, P. O. Box 550, Fairfield, CT 06430-0550.

This Motion to Dismiss the claimant’s Petition for Review from the November 26, 1996 Finding and Award of Dismissal of the Commissioner acting for the Fourth District was heard August 15, 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 DISMISS

JESSE M. FRANKL, CHAIRMAN. The respondents have moved to dismiss the claimant’s petition for review from the November 26, 1996 Finding and Award of Dismissal by the Commissioner acting for the Fourth District. The claimant alleged that he suffered from compensable hypertension under Chapter 568, but the commissioner dismissed his claim, finding that he had failed to prove by a preponderance of the medical evidence that his condition was work-related. The claimant’s attorney filed an appeal from that decision on December 6, 1996. He then filed a Motion for Extension of Time to File Reasons of Appeal, which was granted, and a Motion to Correct, which was denied on January 13, 1997.

One week later, the claimant’s attorney filed a Motion to Withdraw his appearance as counsel for the claimant, citing an irretrievable breakdown of the attorney/client relationship. That motion was denied on July 17, 1997, because replacement counsel had not been designated. It is the policy of this Commission that an attorney who files an appeal to the CRB may not withdraw his appearance on his client’s behalf unless substitute counsel has been arranged. An exception to that rule has been made where the attorney filed the appeal only to preserve the claimant’s right to appeal, did not indicate to the claimant that he would continue to represent him, and both parties agreed that he should withdraw. Moawad v. American Eagle, 3701 CRB-6-97-10 (decided March 9, 1998). Those are not the circumstances of this case. The respondents, meanwhile, filed a Motion to Dismiss the appeal on July 2, 1997, citing the fact that a brief had not been filed in accordance with the relevant scheduling order.

We have little choice but to grant the respondents’ Motion to Dismiss. Neither Reasons for Appeal nor a brief have been filed on the claimant’s behalf, and no one appeared for the claimant at oral argument. We cannot consider an appeal without some idea as to what the grounds for the appeal are. Therefore, we dismiss the claimant’s petition for review for failure to prosecute the appeal with proper diligence pursuant to Practice Book § 4184A. See Burke v. Abacus Transfer & Storage, 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 19, 20, 1782 CRB-3-93-7 (Nov. 3, 1994).

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

Workers’ Compensation Commission

Page last revised: June 29, 2005

Page URL: http://wcc.state.ct.us/crb/1998/3495crb.htm

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