CASE NO. 4423 CRB-2-01-7
COMPENSATION REVIEW BOARD
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION
AUGUST 2, 2001
ELECTRIC BOAT DIVISION
TRAVELERS PROPERTY & CASUALTY
SECOND INJURY FUND
JOHN A. MASTROPIETRO, CHAIRMAN. Last year, the Compensation Review Board issued a ruling in Weber v. Electric Boat, 4086 CRB-2-99-7 (November 13, 2000). In accordance with our decision, this matter was remanded to the trial commissioner for further proceedings regarding the transfer of liability to the Second Injury Fund pursuant to § 31-349. On July 11, 2001, the Fund filed a motion with this board requesting that it be allowed to file a late appeal from a decision dated June 15, 2001, in which the trial commissioner ordered that liability for nearly seven years of total disability benefits be transferred to the Fund. The Fund claims that it did not receive a copy of the commissioner’s decision until July 3, 2001, and that said decision (1) contains findings made without sufficient evidence, and (2) orders a transfer of liability without subject matter jurisdiction to do so, in light of § 31-349h. The Fund’s motion requests that the Compensation Review Board schedule a “show cause” hearing at which it would be allowed to demonstrate why it should be permitted to file a late appeal. The respondent Electric Boat also filed an objection to that motion on July 16, 2001.
Pursuant to Kudlacz v. Lindberg Heat Treating Co., 250 Conn. 581 (1999), Schreck v. Stamford, 250 Conn. 592 (1999), and Kulig v. Crown Supermarket, 250 Conn. 603 (1999), this board is required to afford parties an opportunity to show that, through no fault of their own, they have not received notice of a trial commissioner’s decision within the mandatory ten-day appeal period contemplated by § 31-301(a). In each of those cases, this board accordingly held proceedings at which we took the unusual step of receiving evidence, and then made factual findings relative to the prospective appellant’s receipt date of the trial commissioner’s decision. Kudlacz, 3407 CRB-8-96-9 (July 21, 2000); Kulig, 3335 CRB-6-96-5 (July 21, 2000); Schreck, 3322 CRB-7-96-4 (July 21, 2000). A similar proceeding would appear to be necessary here; to date, we have not held one outside of the three cases that were remanded to us by the Supreme Court.
However, in order to administratively process this claim, we must construe the Fund’s motion as a petition for review pursuant to § 31-301(a). Such a step is not only necessary to create the requisite record, but also because this board does not have the legal authority to establish an appeal period in response to a party’s motion, as would the Appellate Court from the decision of a Superior Court judge. Instead, we are charged by Kudlacz and its progeny to determine whether the prospective appellant filed its petition for review within ten days of the date that it actually received notice of the trial commissioner’s decision. Kudlacz, supra, 591 n.14. As the Fund’s intention to appeal is clear from its motion, said motion was filed within ten days of July 3, 2001, and we recognize that a standard procedure for requesting such a “show cause” hearing has not been explicitly set forth in the past, we will construe its motion as a petition for review and schedule the requested hearing.
John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
Compensation Review Board
Workers’ Compensation Commission