State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
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Cascone v. Phoenix of Fairfield County

CASE NO. 5344 CRB-7-08-5

COMPENSATION REVIEW BOARD

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION

DECEMBER 24, 2008

LORI CASCONE

CLAIMANT-APPELLANT

v.

PHOENIX OF FAIRFIELD COUNTY

EMPLOYER

and

HARTFORD INSURANCE GROUP

INSURER

RESPONDENT-APPELLEE

and

SECOND INJURY FUND

RESPONDENT-APPELLEE

APPEARANCES:

The claimant appeared pro se.

At the trial level, the claimant was represented by John D’Elia, Esq. Christopher DePalma, Esq. , Kennedy, Johnson, D’Elia & Gillooly, 555 Wharf Drive, New Haven, CT 06511 presented oral argument before the board.

The issues on appeal did not involve the respondents Phoenix of Fairfield County, Hartford Insurance or Second Injury Fund.

This Petition for Review from the March 13, 2008 Finding and Award of the Commissioner acting for the Seventh District was heard November 21, 2008 before a Compensation Review Board panel consisting of the Commission Chairman John A. Mastropietro and Commissioners Ernie R. Walker and Charles F. Senich.

OPINION

JOHN A. MASTROPIETRO, CHAIRMAN. The claimant has appealed from the March 13, 2008 Finding and Award ordering the claimant to pay Attorney John J. D’Elia $10,800 as the result of Attorney D’Elia’s legal representation of the claimant in her Workers’ Compensation case. The pertinent facts are that claimant alleged that on April 27, 2005 she suffered a compensable injury while in the employ of Phoenix of Fairfield County. Thereafter, the parties entered into a Stipulation which was approved on October 23, 2007 by the Commissioner acting for the Seventh District. The Stipulated Agreement settled the claimant’s claim and ordered the respondents to pay the claimant $55,000.

The entire sum was paid to the claimant who failed to pay Attorney D’Elia his fee. On March 13, 2008 former Commissioner Leonard Paoletta ordered the claimant to pay Attorney D’Elia his fee. On May 2, 2008 the claimant filed a Petition for Review from the March 13, 2008 order of Commissioner Paoletta. On May 30, 2008, Attorney Christopher DePalma, a representative of Attorney D’Elia’s firm, filed a Motion to Dismiss the claimant’s appeal on the basis of claimant’s failure to comply with § 31-301(a).

Section 31-301(a) provides in pertinent part, “[a]t any time within twenty days after entry of an award by the commissioner . . . either party may appeal therefrom to the Compensation Review Board by filing in the office of the commissioner . . . an appeal petition. . . . ” If a petitioner fails to comply with the time frame established in § 31-301(a), the Compensation Review Board lacks jurisdiction over the appeal. Here the claimant’s appeal was filed some 50 days after the trial commissioner issued his March 13, 2008 order, well beyond the twenty days permitted by statute.

Although the claimant has provided an extensive commentary in support of her appeal as her appeal was not timely filed we are precluded from consideration of the issues raised.1 We therefore, dismiss the claimant’s appeal.

Commissioners Ernie R. Walker and Charles F. Senich concur.

1 The claimant who appears pro se at this juncture, forwarded additional documentation following oral argument held November 21, 2008. We decline to consider any of the post oral argument filings of the claimant. While we try and accord some leniency to those who appear pro se and appreciate their lack of familiarity with some of the more technical aspects of legal procedure, we cannot excuse non-conformance at every instance. Here, the claimant had advance notice of the date of oral argument and any information/documentation which she believed relevant to her appeal, should have been submitted at that time. BACK TO TEXT

Workers’ Compensation Commission

Page last revised: January 26, 2009

Page URL: http://wcc.state.ct.us/crb/2008/5344crb.htm

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