State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
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CRB Case Annotations re: Section 31-297

Hearing of claims.

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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.

Ferree v. West Hartford, 5834 CRB-2-13-4 (February 20, 2014).

Respondent appealed from decision of commissioner to move proceedings from 6th District to 2nd District at claimant’s request. CRB decided appeal was unripe; but also noted authority for appeal was precedent applying law prior to 1991 statutory revision centralizing the Workers’ Compensation system under the Chairman’s authority. See also, Ferree, § 31-280; § 31-301 Appeal procedure.

Mohamed v. Domino’s Pizza, 5352 CRB-6-08-6 (April 22, 2009).

Respondents sought to void an executed stipulation and obtained an ex parte order voiding the stipulation. Claimant sought formal hearing and did not appeal order within statutory time limit. Respondent argued claimant now barred from further relief. CRB upheld trial commissioner who denied dismissal and remanded for new hearing. Due process requires contested hearing. Ex parte orders do not have record and cannot be appealed to CRB; matters must be resolved at formal hearings. See also Mohamed, § 31-298, § 31-301.Appeal procedure, § 31-315.

Bennett v. Wal-Mart, 4939 CRB-7-05-5 (May 15, 2006).

Trial commissioner ordered payment of award for § 31-308(a) benefits. However, hearing notices and transcript indicate that the parties only discussed whether claimant should be awarded § 31-307 benefits. Remanded to trial commissioner for further proceedings to determine claimant’s rights to partial disability benefits. See also, Bennett, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-308(a).

Chung v. Wal-Mart, 4474 CRB-2-02-1 (November 13, 2002).

Respondents appealed imposition of fine pursuant to § 31-288(b)(2) for failure to appear at informal hearing, arguing that the hearing notice did not comply with § 31-297 insofar as it was not received until after hearing took place. As fine was imposed at an informal hearing, CRB remanded case to give respondents opportunity to present claims at formal hearing. However, board noted that § 31-297 vests commissioner with authority to waive 10-day notice requirement when emergency circumstances exist. See also, Chung, § 31-288, § 31-301. Appeal procedure.

Siebold v. Helicopter Support, Inc., 4392 CRB-3-01-5 (September 6, 2002).

Remand appropriate on § 31-308a claim. Unclear to CRB whether respondents had been properly notified that claimant’s allegedly worsening physical condition and related depression were at issue. Though evidence was introduced at trial to establish basis for finding related to cervical/thoracic spinal injury and depression, CRB entertained doubt that due process was provided, and erred on side of caution. See also, Siebold, § 31-308a.

Czujak v. Bridgeport, 4371 CRB-4-01-3 (April 8, 2002).

Claimant alleged mental incompetence at time of formal hearing. Board found no merit to this argument, as formal hearing was held to determine claimant’s overpayment (which he did not dispute), and his wife testified regarding all pertinent information, having been in charge of household finances. See also, Czujak, § 31-301(g). Prior decision at Czujak, 3535 CRB-4-97-2 (June 10, 1998), aff’d, 55 Conn. App. 789 (1999), cert. denied, 252 Conn. 920 (2000), § 7-433c, § 31-300, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-307a, § 31-315.

Schreiber v. Town & Country Auto Service, 4239 CRB-3-00-5 (June 15, 2001).

See, Schreiber, § 31-278 (discussion of res judicata, collateral estoppel and “law of the case” doctrines).

Spatafore v. Yale University, 3969 CRB-3-99-1 (May 29, 2001).

Claimant contended on appeal that the parties agreed during formal hearing that trier would only address issue of compensability, making it error for trier to address entitlement to temporary total or partial disability benefits. Transcript supported this contention, so board vacated portions of award that addressed disability status. Claimant also succeeded in showing that she had requested attorney’s fees and interest due to unreasonable contest, but trier failed to address that issue in his decision. CRB remanded case for rulings on disability and attorney’s fees.

Mosman v. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., 4180 CRB-4-00-1 (March 1, 2001).

Issues before trier were approval of surgery, temporary total and temporary partial disability (the latter two having been put on the table by virtue of counsel’s remarks at the formal hearing). CRB ruled that issue of maximum medical improvement had properly been considered as a natural outgrowth of issues before trier, but permanency rating should not have been set without providing claimant opportunity to obtain her own evidence. CRB encouraged parties to articulate issues at outset of formal hearings in order to avoid later uncertainty. See also, Mosman, § 31-297, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-294f.

Vetre v. State/Dept. of Children and Youth Services, 3443 CRB-6-98-12 (November 28, 2000).

CRB held that, though formal hearing notices did not mention it, state was nonetheless aware that total disability was at issue because the state raised the subject in its Form 43 and total disability was cited in the pre-formal hearing notice. No express waiver of this issue at trial. See also, Vetre, § 31-298, § 31-300, § 31-307. Prior decisions at Vetre, 3948 CRB-6-98-12 (February 14, 2000), § 31-298, § 31-301. Appeal procedure; and Vetre, 3443 CRB-6-96-10 (January 16, 1998), § 31-298. Subsequent decisions at Vetre, 4378 CRB-6-01-4 (March 14, 2002), Vetre, 4728 CRB-6-03-9 (October 8, 2003).

Calinescu v. CFD Associates, 4144 CRB-8-99-11 (November 7, 2000).

CRB affirmed trier’s dismissal of claim on ground that it was precluded by doctrine of res judicata. Hearing notices at prior proceedings cited two dates of injury, including the one claimant now wished to litigate. Claimant could have raised connection between shoulder symptoms and first injury at trial, rather than proceeding under theory that first injury had resolved itself by the time of later injury. Prior decision at Calinescu, 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 298, 1794 CRB-8-93-8 (April 21, 1995), § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-301-9.

Borici v. State/Southbury Training School, 3718 CRB-6-97-11 (January 14, 2000).

Adequate notice of formal hearing was provided to respondent where notice was sent to employer’s counsel (Office of the Attorney General), to the employer, and to the Administrator. Issues listed on notice were sufficient because, even though § 31-300 was referenced rather than § 31-303, notice stated that the issue was the imposition of a twenty percent penalty for late payment. See also, Borici, § 31-303.

Palm v. Yale University, 3923 CRB-3-98-10 (January 7, 2000).

After reviewing the transcript, CRB concluded that the parties were not afforded sufficient notice that the issue of temporary partial benefits under § 31-308(a) would be decided. Claimant’s counsel specifically limited issues at formal hearing so as not to include a claim for § 31-308(a) benefits. Board therefore set aside commissioner’s § 31-308(a) award and remanded that issue for a formal hearing.

Liano v. Bridgeport, 3299 CRB-4-95-10 (March 25, 1997).

The claimant contended that he did not receive proper notice that the formal hearing would include the issue of causation of his psychiatric claim. CRB found sufficient notice provided. Notice of a hearing is not required to contain an accurate forecast of the precise action which will be taken on the subject matter referred to in the notice, but is adequate if it fairly and sufficiently apprises those who may be affected of the nature and character of the action proposed, so as to make possible intelligent preparation for participation in the hearing. See also, Liano, § 31-294c, § 31-301. Factual findings. Subsequent decisions at Liano, 3561 CRB-4-97-3 (June 3, 1998), rev’d in part, 55 Conn. App. 75 (1999), cert. denied, 252 Conn. 909 (1999), § 31-300; Liano, 3447 CRB-4-96-10 (January 6, 1998), aff’d, 51 Conn. App. 905 (per curiam), cert. denied, 248 Conn. 907 (1999), § 7-433c; companion decision at Liano, 3199 CRB-4-95-10 (March 25, 1997), § 31-279-3, § 31-298, § 31-307. Prior decision at Liano, 14 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 201, 2033 CRB-4-94-5 (July 25, 1995), appeal and cross appeal dismissed, lack of final judgment, A.C. 15082 (June 6, 1996), cert. denied, 238 Conn. 906 (1996), § 7-433b, § 31-300, § 31-310.

Proto v. Kenneth Grant d/b/a Kenney G’s Irish Pub, 16 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 129, 3030 CRB-8-95-3 (November 26, 1996).

On appeal, the employer contended that it was denied due process because its failure to appear at a formal hearing was due to its reliance upon its insurance company to appear on its behalf. However, employer did not deny that it received proper notice of the formal hearing, which was mailed via certified mail. The notice, which states the names of the parties notified, does not list the insurer as a party. Under these circumstances, CRB found that the employer was not denied due process, as it was properly sent timely notice of the formal hearing. See also, Proto, § 31-288(c).

Greiner v. Pratt Associates, 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 222, 2000 CRB-8-94-3 (April 12, 1995), aff’d and appeal dismissed, A.C. 14646, A.C. 14596 (June 6, 1996) pursuant to Figueroa v. C & S Ball Bearing, 237 Conn. 1 (1996).

Workers’ Compensation Commission lacks jurisdiction to assign hearings requested by medical provider where no Chapter 568 claim exists. See, Baigert, 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 78, infra.

Baigert v. Fosdick Corporation, 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 78, 1784 CRB-8-93-7 (January 20, 1995).

Chairman’s directive postponing medical provider’s request for an informal hearing indefinitely was proper where there was no evidence an underlying workers’ compensation claim existed. (Arcudi, C., DISSENTING) (Chairman does not have statutory power to deny medical provider due process. Chairman’s administrative powers may have been expanded by 1991 amendments to the workers’ compensation act, however, adjudicatory powers were left undisturbed). But see, Figueroa v. C & S Ball Bearing, aff’d, 237 Conn. 1 (1996). See also, Baigert, § 31-294d, and § 31-280.

Cookson v. G.R. Cummings Company, 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 76, 1796 CRB-8-93-7 (January 20, 1995).

Chairman, acting for the Eighth District, erred in ordering an indefinite postponement of medical provider’s request of an informal hearing where it appears a workers’ compensation claim exists. See also, Cookson, § 31-294d.

Soares v. Glass Industries, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 189, 1377 CRB-3-92-1 (May 4, 1994).

Respondents’ contention they were denied due process where trial commissioner notified all parties at conclusion of morning informal that the matter would proceed to trial at a formal hearing that afternoon held unpersuasive. Given totality of circumstances, i.e. claimant’s financial hardship, cutting of benefits, and prior informal hearings, it was within trier’s statutory authority to find an emergency existed. See also, Soares, § 31-300, § 31-307b and § 31-315.

Monroe v. Twin County Sanitation Co., 4 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 78, 337 CRD-2-84 (June 2, 1987).

Notice of hearing which stated hearing was to determine liability was not merely limited to existence of liability.

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