State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
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CRB Case Annotations re: Section 31-294e

Medical care refusal.

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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.

Daddona v. Waterbury Masonry and Foundation, Inc., 4897 CRB-5-04-12 (December 8, 2005).

See, Daddona, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-307 and § 31-308(b).

Hallock v. Westport, 4829 CRB-4-04-7 (July 22, 2005), appeal dismissed, A.C. 26823 (September 26, 2005).

Claimant’s failure to heed advice of doctor to stop smoking and to have stress test performed prior to June 2002 heart attack did not constitute refusal of reasonable medical treatment. Claimant was not an injured employee within the meaning of the Act at the time said advice was given. Furthermore, it is questionable whether failure to follow such advice would amount to refusal of treatment under § 31-294e; most cases have focused on claimant’s refusal to obtain crucial surgery. See also, Hallock, § 31-294c, § 7-433c.

Kraemer v. Northeast Utilities, 4562 CRB-7-02-8 (July 29, 2003).

See, Kraemer, § 31-294f.

Pesce v. Mitchell Bate Company, 16 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 231, 3236 CRB-5-95-12 (June 23, 1997).

Claimant’s doctor told him that his failure to have back surgery could cause symptoms to worsen, but claimant continued to decline surgery despite increased back pain. Trier found treating physician’s recommendation medically reasonable, and declined to award total disability benefits and § 31-308a benefits. (Claimant also did not look for work.) Affirmed. See also, Pesce, § 31-301. Appeal procedure.

Barnett v. Harborview Manor, 3189 CRB-3-95-10 (February 27, 1997).

Reasonableness of a given treatment is an issue of fact, and was not addressed by trier. However, CRB noted that “refusal of medical treatment” cases have usually centered on the refusal of potentially crucial surgery. Here, the claimant declined to attend a pain clinic and receive pain injections. The findings did not indicate that the claimant’s doctor felt strongly about this treatment; instead, they say he “suggested” it as a course of action, and tried something else when she declined. Suspension of benefits not legally required here. See also, Barnett, § 31-307.

Gesualdi v. Natkin & Company, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 250, 1493 CRB-6-92-8 (May 25, 1994).

Matter remanded where trier failed to make any factual findings as to whether claimant’s conduct and actions following a heart attack and admission into the hospital constituted refusal of reasonable medical treatment. Angioplasty surgery was recommended to claimant who then signed himself out of the hospital in order to obtain a second opinion and shortly thereafter suffered a second heart attack.

D’Anna v. Kimberly Clark Corporation, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 194, 1580 CRB-7-92-12 (May 4, 1994).

Claimant failed to have left shoulder surgery recommended and scheduled by treating surgeon. CRB affirmed finding that claimant refused to accept reasonable medical care thereby trier’s suspension of compensation benefits warranted.

Camp v. White Oak Corporation, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 121, 1443 CRB-6-92-6 (February 28, 1994).

Remanded. In determining that claimant’s refusal to undergo surgery was not unreasonable, the trier failed to consider surrounding circumstances for claimant’s refusal i.e. age, medical history, previous treatment, danger of procedure. Trier also failed to consider the reasonableness of the medical treatment available thereby misapplying statute’s provision as to the reasonableness of medical care. See also, Camp, § 31-308a. Additional Compensation.

Pagliarulo v. Bridgeport Machines, 6 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 69, 515 CRD-4-86 (December 2, 1988), error remand, 20 Conn. App. 154 (1989).

CRD affirmed trial commissioner’s ruling that claimant’s refusal of a third back surgery was not unreasonable where physician testified the surgery only had a 50% chance of significantly helping claimant. Note: Appellate Court held CRD applied wrong standard. Correct standard under § 31-294 is the reasonableness for the proposed surgical treatment itself not the reasonableness of the refusal.

Mignosa v. New Britain, 3 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 75, 135 CRD-6-82 (October 8, 1986).

Claimant’s refusal to undergo surgery held not unreasonable.

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