State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
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CRB Case Annotations re: Section 31-290

Obligations not to be evaded.

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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.

Leonetti v. MacDermid, Inc., 5623 CRB-5-11-1 (March 19, 2012).

Respondent employer appealed trier’s determination that termination agreement signed by claimant purporting to release workers’ compensation claim release was unenforceable in workers’ compensation forum. Trier also concluded claimant received no consideration for release of workers’ compensation claim. Record indicated subject agreement was never presented to trial commissioner for approval and employer ultimately instructed claimant to sign agreement or forfeit severance package. CRB affirmed, noting that claimant and his counsel had attempted unsuccessfully to persuade respondent employer to remove release language from agreement and respondent employer declined to send representative to informal hearing scheduled to address whether provision regarding release of workers’ compensation claim was enforceable absent trial commissioner approval. CRB also held that claimant’s testimony regarding his understanding of method by which respondent employer generally calculated severance packages provided adequate basis for trier’s inference that claimant was not paid consideration for release of workers’ compensation claim. CRB denied respondent employer’s Motion to Submit Additional Evidence on basis that proposed testimony of claimant’s supervisor could have been provided during proceedings below. See also, Leonetti, § 31-278; § 31-296; § 31-298; § 31-301-9.

Zolla v. John Cheeseman Trucking, 5261 CRB-5-07-8 (August 4, 2008), appeal dismissed, A.C. 30251 (March 5, 2009).

Claimant was interstate truck driver employed by Ohio firm who suffered heart attack on the job in New Jersey. Respondents failed to file disclaimer within statutory timeline to contest claim filed in Connecticut. At formal hearing respondents argued claimant’s exclusive remedy was in Ohio based on agreement when hired. Trial commissioner found this agreement was unenforceable under Connecticut statute barring agreements limiting statutory obligations under Chapter 568. CRB upheld, but found as respondents failed to contest the claim in CT in a timely fashion, this defense was barred as untimely, citing, Reiner, Reiner & Bendett P.C. v. Cadle Co., 278 Conn. 92 (2006) and Harpaz v. Laidlaw Transit, Inc., 286 Conn. 102 (2008). Connecticut public policy does weigh against waiver of one’s right to seek remedy in a CT forum, however. See also, Zolla, § 31-278, § 31-294c, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-301. Appeal procedure.

Dowling Considine v. Slotnik, 3468 CRB-4-96-11 (May 6, 1998).

Claimant and respondent cannot create binding settlement without approval of trial commissioner. Letter from claimant’s attorney to respondents indicating that the claimant would not seek compensation under Act even if stipulation was not approved does not operate to bargain away claimant’s rights under the Act. See, Dowling, § 31-296, § 31-301. Appeal procedure. See also, Dowling, § 31-301(f). Prior decision at Dowling, 3062 CRB-4-95-5, 3277 CRB-4-96-2 (February 5, 1997), aff’d, rev’d and remanded in part, 244 Conn. 781 (1998)(with dissenting opinion), § 31-275(9), § 31-288, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-307.

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State of Connecticut

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Page last revised: December 17, 2013

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