State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
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Buonafede v. UTC/Pratt & Whitney

CASE NO. 5499 CRB-8-09-9

COMPENSATION REVIEW BOARD

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION

OCTOBER 4, 2010

DOREEN BUONAFEDE

CLAIMANT-APPELLEE

v.

UTC/PRATT & WHITNEY

EMPLOYER

and

AIG CLAIMS SERVICES, INC. n/k/a CHARTIS INSURANCE

INSURER

RESPONDENTS-APPELLANTS

RULING ON APPELLANT’S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION AND ARTICULATION

JOHN A. MASTROPIETRO, CHAIRMAN: On September 13, 2010 the appellants’ in this matter filed a Motion for Reconsideration and Articulation of this Board’s decision in Buonafede v. Pratt & Whitney, 5499 CRB-8-09-9 (September 1, 2010). For the foregoing reasons we deny the motion.

We find that the standard under which we are obliged to articulate our opinion is limited to circumstances wherein the opinion of this Board was ambiguous. An articulation “is not an opportunity for a trial court to substitute a new decision [or] change the reasoning or basis of a prior decision,” Miller v. Kirschner, 225 Conn. 185, 208 (1993). We find no ambiguity in our rationale for affirming the decision of the trial commissioner and the suggested relief sought by the appellants, a remand to the trial commissioner, clearly would result in a substitution of our original decision.

Moreover, the gravamen of the appellant’s motion appearing to be based on their belief that the trial commissioner should have been forced to explain why he chose to discount certain testimony from a respondent’s witness at the Formal Hearing. The appellants, however, never filed a Motion for Articulation seeking such a clarification at the time when the Finding and Award was issued. We find a Motion for Articulation from an appellate decision an improper and belated means to ascertain what the trial commissioner’s rationale was in this original Finding and Award. This strategy is clearly the sort of piecemeal litigation proscribed by the precedent in Hines v. Naugatuck Glass, 4816 CRB-5-04-6 (May 16, 2005). See also Gibson v. State/Department of Developmental Services-North Region, 5422 CRB-2-09-2 (January 13, 2010).

We concluded in our opinion that this matter was essentially similar to Fair v. People’s Savings Bank, 207 Conn. 535 (1988) and hinged on witness credibility. Such a conclusion is not ambiguous.

The Motion for Reconsideration and Articulation is therefore denied.

Commissioners Nancy E. Salerno and Jack R. Goldberg concur in this opinion.

Workers’ Compensation Commission

Page last revised: October 4, 2010

Page URL: http://wcc.state.ct.us/crb/2010/5499rul.htm

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