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Waheed v. State of Connecticut/Department of Education

CASE NO. 3801 CRB-02-98-04

COMPENSATION REVIEW BOARD

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION

JANUARY 13, 2000

SAMEEN WAHEED

CLAIMANT-APPELLEE

v.

STATE OF CONNECTICUT/DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

EMPLOYER

SELF-INSURED

RESPONDENT-APPELLANT

APPEARANCES:

The claimant was represented by Mario Paul Mikolitch, Esq., 300 Captain’s Walk, Suite 204, New London, CT 06320.

The respondent employer was represented by Donna Hixon Smith, Esq., Assistant Attorney General, 55 Elm Street, P. O. Box 120, Hartford, CT 06141-0120.

This Petition for Review from the April 3, 1998 Finding and Award of the Commissioner acting for the Second District was heard October 23, 1998 before a Compensation Review Board panel consisting of the then Commission Chairman, Jesse M. Frankl and Commissioners Donald H. Doyle, Jr. and Michael S. Miles.

OPINION

JESSE M. FRANKL, COMMISSIONER. The respondent employer (hereinafter “respondent”) has petitioned for review from the April 3, 1998 Finding and Award of the Commissioner acting for the Second District. In that decision, the trial commissioner assessed a $7,230.00 penalty on the respondent for its failure to pay an approved stipulation within ten days. The trial commissioner issued the penalty pursuant to § 31-303. In support of its appeal, the respondent contends that the language of § 31-303 does not apply to “lump sum settlements.” (Respondent’s Brief at p. 2). We find no error.

In the Finding and Award, the trial commissioner found the following relevant facts. On December 13, 1995, the respondent voluntarily agreed to pay the claimant $36,150.00 as a full and final stipulation of the claimant’s workers’ compensation claim. The stipulation was approved by a trial commissioner on December 21, 1995. The respondent did not pay the stipulation amount within ten days after receiving the approved stipulation. The respondent paid the stipulation amount approximately twenty-nine days after receiving the approved stipulation. The trial commissioner thus ordered that the respondent pay a twenty percent penalty to the claimant in the amount of $7,230.00 pursuant to § 31-303.

Section 31-303 provides:

Payments agreed to under a voluntary agreement shall commence on or before the tenth day from the date of agreement. Payments due under an award shall commence on or before the tenth day from the date of such award.... Any employer who fails to pay within the prescribed time limitations of this section shall pay a penalty for each late payment, in the amount of twenty per cent of such payment, in addition to any other interest or penalty imposed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

In support of its appeal, the respondent contends that § 31-303 does not apply to a stipulation for a full and final settlement because § 31-303 refers only to a voluntary agreement or an award. This issue has recently been considered in Davis v. Foreman School, 54 Conn. App. 841 (1999), where the Appellate Court held that § 31-303 applies to stipulations as well as voluntary agreements and awards. In the Davis case, the court affirmed the twenty percent penalty for the late payment of a $25,000.00 lump sum under an approved stipulation. Id. at 843, fn. 3. We thus find no merit to the respondent’s argument that § 31-303 does not apply to the $36,150.00 payment due under the approved stipulation in the instant case.

The trial commissioner’s decision is affirmed.

Commissioners Donald H. Doyle, Jr., and Michael S. Miles concur.

Workers’ Compensation Commission

Page last revised: January 4, 2005

Page URL: http://wcc.state.ct.us/crb/2000/3801crb.htm

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