State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
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CRB Case Annotations re: Section 31-275(19)

Presumptive dependent defined.

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THESE ANNOTATIONS ARE PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY

Full texts of opinions, statutes and court decisions should be consulted and all citations and references fully researched by the reader.

The Annotations to Compensation Review Board Opinions are presented “as is” and the Commission makes no warranties as to the suitability of this information for any given purpose.
Please note also that Annotations change periodically due to several factors including, but not limited to, Appellate and Supreme Court decisions issued in workers’ compensation cases.

Brennan v. Waterbury, 6065 CRB-5-15-12 & 5996 CRB-5-15-3 (October 31, 2016), appeal pending AC 39819.

Trial commissioner granted motion to substitute widow of original claimant as claimant as the executrix of his estate and directed unpaid balance of the permanent partial disability award to be paid to the estate. City appealed arguing that pursuant to Morgan v. East Haven, 208 Conn. 576 (1988) an estate is not a legally qualified recipient of funds from an award under § 7-433c C.G.S. Claimant argued subsequent legislative amendments overruled Morgan. CRB concluded that they did not and that as Morgan was still good law matter must be remanded to ascertain appropriate beneficiaries under statute. City also challenged the substance of the permanency award but CRB found trial commissioner justified reliance on a medical opinion he found persuasive. CRB also remanded for calculation of benefits. See also, Brennan, § 7-433c; § 31-308(b).

Churchville v. Bruce R. Daly Mechanical Contractor, 5365 CRB-8-08-8 (August 4, 2009), aff’d, 299 Conn. 185 (2010).

Following trial de novo on contested Form 36, trial commissioner awarded permanency benefits to claimant’s estate with credit to respondents for temporary total payments since filing date of Form 36. Respondents appealed, contending, per McCurdy v. State, 227 Conn. 261 (1993), permanency benefits do not vest until claimant affirmatively requests them and disputing trier’s determination that a settlement proposal provided to respondents prior to claimant’s death constituted a sufficient “affirmative request” per McCurdy. Respondents also challenged trier’s findings as to extent of impairment to claimant’s lumbar spine. Claimant’s spouse filed cross appeal contending permanency award should have been made directly to her. CRB affirmed trier’s decision on basis that litigation of Form 36 commenced before claimant’s death and findings made by trier at trial de novo relative to claimant’s work capacity, date of maximum medical improvement and permanency ratings were supported by medical reports in record. CRB rejected respondents’ interpretation of McCurdy relative to vesting of permanency benefits, noting McCurdy states such awards vest when claimant reaches maximum medical improvement but trier retains discretion, per Osterlund v. State, 129 Conn. 591 (1943), to continue temporary total benefits beyond date of maximum medical improvement unless claimant specifically requests payment of permanency award. CRB also affirmed trier’s findings regarding extent of impairment but remanded for additional investigation into the appropriate recipient of award as § 31-308(d) C.G.S. does not provide for payment of permanency benefits to a deceased claimant’s estate and record was silent as to whether trier had determined if Margery Churchville was claimant’s spouse or presumptive dependent. DISSENT (Schoolcraft): Disagreed with scope of remand because Margery Churchville failed to carry burden of proof at trial that she was decedent’s spouse and therefore should not be allowed another opportunity to re-litigate her claim. See also, Churchville, § 31-275 (19), § 31-307, § 31-308(b), § 31-308(d).

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State of Connecticut

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Page last revised: May 11, 2017

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