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.
Ramsahai v. Coca-Cola Bottling Company, 5991 CRB-1-15-2 (January 26, 2016).
Claimant asserted total disability from seronegative/polyarthropathy/polyarthritis. Trial commissioner found this injury compensable and awarded benefits and awarded the claimant interest on a “use of money” basis. Respondent’s appealed as this issue had not been litigated at the formal hearing. CRB remanded this issue back to the trial commissioner. Citing Ghazal v. Cumberland Farms, 5397 CRB-8-08-11 (November 17, 2009); CRB found the respondent should be allowed to present whatever defense it may possess on this issue. See also, Ramsahai, § 31-275(1); § 31-298; § 31-301 Factual findings; § 31-307.
Mase v. Branhaven Chrysler Plymouth, 5983 CRB-3-15-1 (January 14, 2016).
Claimant challenged as abuse of discretion trier’s dismissal of claim for sanctions. CRB affirmed, noting that record indicated that claimant, rather than immediately furnishing respondents with updated medical reports linking compensable injury to emergency surgery, instead provided HIPAA releases three months after surgery and respondents were still requesting updated medical reports nine months after surgery. CRB found that claimant relied upon trier’s recommendations made at informal hearings rather than requesting formal hearing for payment of claimed unpaid indemnity and medical expenses. Claimant also cancelled at least two informal hearings during course of prosecution of claim. See also, Mase, § 31-288; § 31-301. Factual Findings.
Nelson v. Revera, Inc., 5977 CRB-5-15-1 (September 21, 2015).
Claimant sustained lumbar spine injury at work and then asserted foot weakness attributable to initial injury caused her to fall down stairs at home, sustaining additional injuries. Trial commissioner accepted this position but denied claimant’s bid for sanctions. Claimant appealed this denial. CRB affirmed. Case is one of commissioner’s discussion which is upheld on appeal, see Kuhar v. Frank Mercede & Sons, Inc., 5250 CRB-7-07-7 (July 11, 2008). See also, Nelson, § 31-275(1); § 31-288(b); § 31-301 Factual findings.
Goulbourne v. State/Department of Correction, 5955 CRB-1-14-8 (July 29, 2015).
The claimant appealed from the trial commissioner’s denial of temporary total disability. Claim was argued on the basis of the claimant’s medical condition and unemployability (Osterlund doctrine). Claimant argued that the trier’s failure to award temporary total disability benefits under either theory was erroneous as a matter of law. CRB affirmed the trial Commissioner’s denial of temporary total disability benefits noting that a trier was accorded great discretion in the weight and credibility he assigned to evidence, and was entitled to accept, reject, in whole or in part the opinion of an expert. In the instant matter the trial Commissioner gave reasons as to why he did not find the medical opinion(s) of the claimant’s treating physician fully persuasive. Claimant also appealed from the trial commissioner’s failure to award interest and attorneys fees pursuant to § 31-300 on the basis of the respondent’s alleged undue delay/unreasonable contest. CRB affirmed the trier’s denial again citing the appellate standard of review applied to a commissioner’s exercise of discretion. Matters relating to this claim were considered in these prior opinions; Goulbourne v. State/Department of Correction, 5461 CRB-1-09-5 (May 12, 2010) and Goulbourne v. State/Department of Correction, 5192 CRB-1-07-1 (January 17, 2008). See also, Goulbourne, § 31-307.
Summers v. R R Donnelley Printing Company, 5914 CRB-1-14-2 (February 26, 2015).
Trial commissioner found claimant sustained compensable injury but prior to hearing any evidence, said he would be hard pressed to find respondents engaged in undue delay or unreasonable contest. Claimant sought recusal of trial commissioner; which he declined. Later in case claimant’s counsel sought deposition of claims adjuster to try and prove respondents lacked justification for defending claim. Trial commissioner denied this motion. Claimant appealed arguing he was denied due process as commissioner had predetermined sanctions issue. CRB determined that while ordinarily trial commissioners have broad discretion to resolve discovery issues, Valiante v. Burns Construction Company, 5393 CRB-4-08-11 (October 15, 2009) and determine liability for sanctions, Kuhar v. Frank Mercede & Sons, Inc., 5250 CRB-7-07-7 (July 11, 2008); commissioner’s initial statement created a due process issue and claimant should have been extended additional latitude. CRB remanded matter to another trial commissioner to rule on discovery and sanctions issues. See also, Summers, § 31-278; § 31-298; § 31-298.
Jamieson v. State/Military Department, 5888 CRB-1-13-9 (August 15, 2014).
Trial commissioner granted motion for sanctions against respondent and they appealed, arguing that they did not engage in undue delay or unreasonable contest. CRB affirmed award of sanctions. Record indicated respondents advanced jurisdictional arguments inconsistent with Appellate Court decision which was res judicata on those issues. Trial commissioner also found respondent failed to adhere to statutory obligations. See also, Jamieson, § 5-145a; § 31-301 Factual findings; § 31-307; § 31-308(a).
Carney v. Stratford, 5806 CRB-4-12-12 (November 20, 2013).
Claimant sought sanctions as respondents questioned need for medical treatment after executing voluntary agreement. While trial commissioner granted award for claimant on substantive issues, he determined claimant’s failure to provide accurate medical history to various doctors justified the respondents’ conduct. On appeal, CRB affirmed decision. Claimant’s citation of Wikander v. Asbury Automotive Group, 5586 CRB-4-10-9 (September 8, 2011), aff’d, 137 Conn. App. 665 (2012) unpersuasive; respondents did not violate clear statutory obligation. Case similar to Mancini v. Masonicare, 5729 CRB-2-12-2 (January 29, 2013) where matter one of discretion for trial commissioner.
Ritch v. Connecticut Materials Testing Labs, 5766 CRB-7-12-7 (October 24, 2013).
Claimant sought sanctions against respondent asserting undue delay in providing treatment to back injury. Trial commissioner denied sanctions. CRB affirmed decision citing broad discretion and respondent’s scheduling of their own medical examination in response to issue. See also, Ritch, § 31-301 Factual findings; § 31-307.
Kinsey v. World Pac, 5783 CRB-7-12-10 (September 17, 2013).
Claimant sought sanctions for undue delay in respondent making payments and providing COLA adjustments. Trial commissioner awarded claimant’s counsel award under § 31-300 C.G.S. for time spent prior to informal hearing wherein respondents offered to pay sanctions to settle dispute. Claimant appealed claiming commissioner should have recused herself and demanded trial de novo. Respondent argues evidence did not support sanctions. CRB affirmed decision. Trial commissioner has broad latitude under statute to manage proceedings and consider evidence. Evidence of “pattern and practice” of late payments supported sanctions, especially as COLA adjustment in this matter was paid 73 days late. See also, Kinsey, § 31-278; § 31-288; § 31-298; § 31-327.
Previti v. Monro Muffler Brake, Inc., 5769 CRB-6-12-7 (June 25, 2013).
Claimant prevailed after lengthy formal hearing on issues of medical treatment and partial incapacity. Trial commissioner originally levied sanctions on respondent for undue delay and unreasonable contest based on estimate of time spent by claimant’s counsel on issues. Claimant filed Motion to Correct stating award was not based on evidence and demanding new hearing to impose penalties. Trial commissioner determined claimant correct sanctions unsupported by evidence, and vacated award and reduced award to a nominal amount. Claimant appealed, arguing result was arbitrary and capricious. CRB affirmed commissioner. Case relied on by claimant, Regan v. Torrington, 4456 CRB-5-01-11 (October 25, 2002) factually distinguishable; in that case respondents sought hearing to challenge detailed demand for sanctions presented by claimant. In this case claimant never presented documentation as to amount of sanctions he was entitled to. Precedent is that parties not entitled as of right to bifurcate proceedings.
Mancini v. Masonicare, 5729 CRB-2-12-2 (January 29, 2013).
CRB affirmed trial commissioner’s determination that the respondent did not unduly delay or unreasonably contest claimant’s surgery to her hands nor was she entitled to temporary total benefits for a period that she was not actually totally disabled due to said surgeries. Claimant contended that initial injury and extended use of crutches was a substantial factor in her need for surgery. Surgery to her hands was put off by the claimant due to other medical needs. More than 3 years after the initial recommendation for surgery, the claimant decided to undergo the surgeries. The claimant did not provide documentary evidence as to the causal link between the need for the surgeries and the claimant’s September 2003 injury until December 2010. Thereafter the claimant underwent an RME in January 2011. The respondents sought clarification of the RME opinion in February 2011 and received same in March 2011. Later that month the respondents authorized the surgeries. The trial commissioner determined that the respondents did not unduly delay or unreasonably contest the surgery to the claimant’s hands. That conclusion is within the purview of the trier’s discretion. Additionally, the CRB affirmed the trier’s dismissal of claimant’s claim for temporary total disability benefits for the period that claimant speculated the surgeries would have occurred but for the respondents’ exercise of their right to an RME. See also, Mancini, § 31-288; § 31-301 Factual findings; § 31-307.
Montenegro v. Palmieri Food Products, 5701 CRB-3-11-11 (November 15, 2012).
Claimant suffered serious work injuries which included near amputation of thumb. After injury, claimant said he could not use hand. Surveillance video showed claimant using injured hand at gas station, holding hands et al. Trial commissioner relied on expert opinions claimant had work capacity and granted Form 36’s. Claimant argued respondent should be sanctioned for delays in hearing process. CRB upheld trial commissioner’s denial of sanctions, question is one of discretion on trial commissioner’s part Kuhar v. Frank Mercede & Sons, Inc., 5250 CRB-7-07-7 (July 11, 2008). See also, Montenegro, § 31-294d; § 31-288(b); § 31-301 Factual findings; § 31-307.
Duarte v. Franstel of CT Corp., 5692 CRB-7-11-11 (November 13, 2012).
Respondent challenged finding that claimant was employed by respondent when claimant sustained injuries in fall from tree while trimming branches on third party’s property. CRB affirmed. Although testimony of various parties appeared inconsistent with evidentiary submissions, trier retains ultimate discretion to determine credibility of witnesses. Trier reasonably inferred that claimant’s co-worker was authorized to act as respondent’s agent and record supported trier’s determination that requirements were satisfied for establishing employment relationship as set forth in Hanson v. Transportation General, Inc., 245 Conn. 613 (1998). Trier reasonably inferred that evidentiary record did not support finding that legal standard for casual employment was satisfied. CRB deemed meritless respondent’s claim that trier’s Finding and Award was void because trier issued decision on Monday following expiration of statutory one-hundred twenty day deadline which occurred on preceding Saturday. Trier properly denied respondent’s Motion to Correct. See also, Duarte, § 31-275(1); § 31-275(9); § 31-301 Factual findings; § 31-301-4.
Gendron v. Griffin Health Services Corporation, 5686 CRB-4-11-10 (October 11, 2012).
In a wide-ranging appeal, claimant challenged trial commissioner’s failure to find respondents unduly delayed indemnity payments and denial of interest, penalties and attorney’s fees. Claimant appealed trier’s determination that hands-free telephone device, IPad and aquatic therapy did not constitute reasonable or necessary medical care such that claimant was entitled to reimbursement for out-of-pocket costs. CRB affirmed findings relative to indemnity payments and medical care, noting that record supported trier’s inferences regarding claimant’s credibility and trier reasonably relied upon evidence in support of respondents’ assertion that indemnity payments were timely. CRB also held that trier reasonably inferred that claimant did not meet burden of proof necessary to establish that medical treatment for which she sought reimbursement satisfied standard for curative care as articulated in Bowen v. Stanadyne, Inc., 2 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 60, 232 CRD-1-83 (June 19, 1984). CRB remanded on issue of whether respondents unduly delayed mileage reimbursements as findings suggested trier may not have reviewed all of claimant’s exhibits in support of that claim of error. CRB denied claimant’s two motions to file additional evidence. See also, Gendron, § 31 288; § 31-294d; § 31-301. Factual findings; § 31 301-4; § 31-301-9; § 31-308(a).
Lewis v. State/Department of Correction, 5677 CRB-4-11-8 (August 15, 2012).
Claimant injured as prison guard and resigned prior to being deemed totally disabled. Parties later executed voluntary agreement accepting case under § 5-142(a) C.G.S. After claimant had received 5 years of full disability benefits, he noticed he had not received annual increments and claimed same. Trial commissioner awarded increments and found unreasonable contest and undue delay. Respondents appealed, arguing members of “inactive payroll” not entitled to annual increments. CRB affirmed trial commissioner. Plain meaning of statute made it mandatory obligation to compensate disabled hazardous duty workers at same rate as active employees for 260 weeks. Legislative history and principles of statutory construction were unsupportive of respondent’s argument. Respondent failed to perform statutory obligation. Respondent’s laches argument that claimant waited too long unmeritorious on appeal, trial commissioner resolved facts in adverse manner to respondent. Failure to perform statutory obligation creates factual predicate to levy sanctions, see Wikander, et al v. Asbury Automotive Group/David McDavid Acura, 5586 CRB-4-10-9 (September 8, 2011). See also, Lewis, § 31-288(b); § 5-142(a).
Owens v. State/DMHAS, 5661 CRB-8-11-6 (June 21, 2012).
Claimant sought approval for spinal surgery. Treating physician opined it would be reasonable and necessary. Respondent’s expert stated chance of success was “50-50” and that he would not perform this surgery. Commissioner’s examiner agreed with Respondent’s expert. Claimant had surgery and sought reimbursement. Trial commissioner found surgery was reasonable and necessary and ordered reimbursement, and also ordered payment of attorney’s fees to claimant for unreasonably contesting request for surgery. Respondent appealed award of sanctions and CRB reversed the award. While trial commissioner entitled to great deference, respondent had expert witnesses who opined against performing surgery. Commissioner appears to have relied on precedent in Cirrito v. Resource Group Ltd. Of Conn., 4248 CRB-1-00-6 (June 19, 2001) and not more recent precedent in Cervero v. Mory’s Association, Inc., 5357 CRB-3-08-6 (May 19, 2009), aff’d, 122 Conn. App. 82 (2010), which calls for a “totality of the evidence” approach to evaluating reasonableness of proposed surgeries. Respondents could have reasonably believed this surgery might not have been approved.
Gonzalez v. Premier Limousine of Hartford, 5635 CRB 4-11-3 (April 17, 2012).
Claimant argued that delay in authorizing neurologist in case warranted sanctions. Respondents argued they promptly scheduled a respondent’s medical examination. CRB decided based on Kuhar v. Frank Mercede & Sons, Inc., 5250 CRB-7-07-7 (July 11, 2008) decision was discretionary for the trial commissioner and need for surgery was not so clear as to be indisputable. See also, Gonzalez, § 31-294d; § 31-301 Appeal procedure; § 31-301 Factual findings; § 31-301-4.
Flamenco v. Independent Refuse Service, 5600 CRB-7-10-10 (November 2, 2011).
Claimant challenged trier’s imposition of sanctions due to counsel’s failure to appear at informal hearing. Claimant initially appealed sanctions letter on basis that trier had taken no evidence which would substantiate findings of undue delay; CRB remanded citing lack of formal record. Claimant next appealed order arising from penalty hearing in which trier determined no grounds existed to vacate sanctions. Claimant alleged multiple due process violations, citing as error trier’s failure to disqualify herself, scheduling of evidentiary hearing after penalty was assessed, issuance of sanctions letter prior to evidentiary hearing, and inadequate notice of penalty hearing. Claimant also appealed trier’s failure to grant Motion to Correct. Following parties’ appearance before CRB at oral argument but prior to release of CRB opinion, Appellate Court handed down Flamenco v. Independent Refuse Service, Inc., 130 Conn. App. 280 (2011) holding that original CRB remand was in error as sufficient record existed for CRB to rule on the matter. Appellate Court also found record failed to substantiate trier’s findings of undue delay and remanded matter with directive to vacate sanction. See also, Flamenco, § 31 288; § 31-301 Factual findings; § 31-301-04.
Zbras v. Colonial Toyota, 5631 CRB-4-11-02 (February 14, 2012).
Claimant told co-workers he was leaving work early to play golf; but testified he did not play golf. Later than weekend claimant said sneezing aggravated previous compensable back injury. Trial commissioner found claimant credible and awarded benefits but originally found respondent’s had good faith basis to defend claim due to claimant’s lack of candor with co-workers. However, trial commissioner granted Motion to Correct which found respondent’s unreasonably contested liability. On appeal, CRB ordered remand for additional findings. McFarland v. Department of Development Services, 115 Conn. App. 306 (2009) requires factual predicate exist before sanctions may be levied. Factual basis for trial commissioner’s decision not apparent from the record. See also, Zbras, § 31-301 Factual findings.
Lamothe v. Citibank, N.A., 5550 CRB-8-10-5 (October 12, 2011).
Claimant appealed Finding and Award in which trial commissioner declined to enter written award of compensability following respondents’ proffer of voluntary agreement. Claimant also appealed trial’s failure to sanction respondents for unreasonable contest. Respondents moved for dismissal of claim on grounds of untimely filing of Reasons of Appeal. CRB denied motion for dismissal noting that respondents had filed motion for dismissal after ten-day period following expiration of claimant’s deadline and had failed to show prejudice because of claimant’s late filing. CRB affirmed trial commissioner on all grounds. Issuance of approved voluntary agreement does not confer upon trier obligation to find compensability; nor does it constitute a judicial admission. Claimant had opportunity to challenge terms of voluntary agreement in formal proceedings. CRB also held that claimant’s medical history, lack of medical causation report, and circumstances surrounding claimant’s injury, including claimant’s failure to inform her supervisors of the workplace incident, provided adequate support for trier’s determination that respondents did not engage in an unreasonable contest of claim. Trier could reasonably infer that respondents’ failure to produce a witness following a trial commissioner’s order likewise did not constitute unreasonable delay in light of respondents’ initial request for a protective order, claimant counsel’s failure to coordinate deposition scheduling with respondents’ counsel, and witness’s inability to appear because of illness. Respondents’ failure to answer discovery request relative to attendance reports did not compel trier to draw an adverse inference, particularly as respondents’ defense was not solely predicated on claimant’s attendance on date of injury. See also, Lamothe, § 31-278; § 31-296; § 31-301. Appeal Procedure, § 31-301-2; § 31-301-9.
Wikander v. AsburyAutomotiveGroup/David McDavid Acura, 5586 CRB-4-10-9 (September 8, 2011), aff’d, 137 Conn. App. 665 (2012).
Decedent died in Texas while on business trip. Dependent spouse filed claim in Texas and later in Connecticut, family’s place of residence. Respondent did not file timely disclaimer to Connecticut claim, and argued disclaimer to Texas claim constituted sufficient notice they were contesting Connecticut claim. Respondents also argued claim filed more than one year post-mortem was untimely. Trial commissioner found to contrary and granted Motion to Preclude and awarded sanctions. CRB affirmed trial commissioner. Record indicated respondents violated statute requiring timely disclaimer of contested claims, and further, advanced a defense they later abandoned as not viable. Case similar to Merenski v. Greenwich Hospital Association, Inc., 5076 CRB-7-06-4 (June 18, 2007). See also Wikander, Sec. 31-294c.
Lamar v. Boehringer Ingelheim Corp., 5588 CRB 7-10-9 (August 25, 2011), aff’d, 138 Conn. App. 826 (2012), cert denied, 307 Conn. 943 (2012).
See also, Lamar, § 31-294c; § 31-321.
Morales v. Bridgeport, 5551 CRB-4-10-5 (April 18, 2011).
Claimant appealed from denial of motion for sanctions against respondent, asserting undue delay. CRB upheld trial commissioner; decision was judgment call. Kuhar v. Frank Mercede & Sons, Inc., 5250 CRB-7-07-7 (July 11, 2008). See also, Morales, § 31-301 Appeal procedure; § 31- 301 Factual findings; § 31-308a.
Lee v. Cultec, Inc., 5546 CRB-7-10-4 (February 25, 2011).
Claimant injured at work and reported neck pain. MRI identified herniated disc. Treater sought authorization to refer claimant to spine specialist. Respondents did not authorize and contested claim. Claimant treated at general practitioners who prescribed heavy doses of narcotics and advised him not to work. IME doctor confirmed disc problem but asserted claimant had work capacity. Claimant sought temporary total disability benefits and sanctions. Trial commissioner granted relief, finding respondent’s conduct in denying treatment without cause egregious. Commissioner found undue delay as per § 31-288 (b) C.G.S. Respondents appealed claiming due process violation and denying misconduct. CRB upheld trial commissioner. Respondents on notice § 31-300 sanctions were issue at formal hearing and § 31-288 not dissimilar. Facts consistent with precedent such as Duffy v. Greenwich-Board of Education, 4930 CRB-7-05-3 (May 15, 2006) that sanctions can be awarded for incredulous defense; also CRB has made clear failure to authorize necessary treatment creates liability back to date of incapacity. McInnis v. Shelter Workz, 5299 CRB-3-07-11 (June 11, 2009). See also, Lee, § 31-294d, § 31-300, § 31- 301 Appeal procedure, § 31-307.
Ramirez-Ortiz v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 5492 CRB-8-09-8 (August 25, 2010).
CRB upheld commissioner on issue of denial of sanctions as hearing was canceled when claimant did not provide proper interpreter, matter was judgment call. See also, Ramirez-Ortiz, § 31-298, § 31-301 Factual findings.
Ayna v. Graebel Movers, Inc., 5452 CRB 4-09-03 (July 21, 2010), aff’d, 133 Conn. App. 65 (2012), cert denied, 304 Conn. 905 (2012).
Respondents sought to terminate temporary total disability benefits asserting medical evidence and claimant’s activities proved he had a work capacity. Claimant denied earning money after injury and relied on treating physician’s opinions. He further claimed Trial commissioner should have relied on prior commissioner’s denial of a Form 36. Trial commissioner discontinued benefits. Claimant appealed and CRB upheld trial commissioner. Respondents’ examiner offered probative evidence claimant had work capacity. Previous decision on earlier Form 36 did not rely on this evidence and was not binding herein. Trial commissioner cited evidence claimant was active individual who received money in Louisiana, plus Trial commissioner found ex-wife a credible witness on issue of operating business. Trial commissioner could reasonably find claimant had work capacity when he found claimant not to be credible. See also, Ayna § 31-296, § 31-301 Factual findings, § 31-303, § 31-307.
Milewski v. Stratford, 5483 CRB-4-09-07 (July 20, 2010).
Parties executed Voluntary Agreement in November 2004 using MMI date of November 9, 2000. Claimant did not receive permanency payments until 2005. Claimant asserted he was entitled to interest and penalties due to late payment of permanency award. Trial commissioner found VA deficient as it did not list percentage of disability or number of weeks of compensation due. Medical reports did not establish physician had opined to MMI as of date listed in VA. Parties did not resolve disputed permanency rating until after VA was executed. Trial commissioner denied claimant’s request. CRB upheld trial commissioner. VA was legally deficient and not supported by medical evidence on the record. VA cannot be enforced against respondent when parties have not agreed on material terms. Since parties continued to negotiate, trial commissioner within discretion to deny sanctions sought for undue delay or unreasonable contest. See also, Milewski, § 31-295(c), § 31-303.
Riccitelli v. Regional Network of Programs, 5450 CRB-4-09-4 (May 3, 2010).
Claimant did not receive COLA adjustments for approximately 10 years. At that point, he received lump sum of unpaid COLA but pursued interest penalty against respondent. Trial Commissioner awarded interest for undue delay; COLA should have been provided without demand. CIGA, carrier for last five years of claim, appealed. CRB denied legal arguments CIGA advanced that were rejected in Potvin v. Lincoln Service & Equipment, 5258 CRB-3-07-8 (November 12, 2008), rev’d 298 Conn. 620 (2010). However, CIGA could not be penalized for negligence attributable to prior carrier. Matter remanded to assess penalty rate of interest only for period CIGA administrated the file. See also Riccitelli, § 31-307a; § 31-355(e).
Volmut v. General Electric Company, 5439 CRB-4-09-2 (April 7, 2010).
CRB affirmed trier’s finding that claimant’s depressive disorder was compensable on basis that medical reports and claimant’s testimony at trial supported reasonable inference of causation between claimant’s accepted back injury and contested psychiatric claim. CRB affirmed trierís refusal to find undue delay and/or unreasonable contest against respondents relative to their failure to authorize psychiatric evaluation and to pay and/or reimburse claimant for medications prescribed by authorized treater on basis that record in its entirety did not support sanctions. Although CRB considered circumstances surrounding submission of surveillance videotape problematic, board did not find trier’s actions constituted reversible error given that surveillance was not germane to issues on appeal. Trier also properly refused to mark tape as full exhibit and allowed record to remain open pending investigator’s testimony but claimant requested trier close record before that occurred. CRB affirmed trier’s refusal to dismiss claimant’s amended Reasons for Appeal given that respondents did not appear to be prejudiced by claimant’s late filing. Both parties filed Motions to Correct which were denied save for two proposed corrections by claimant making two findings consistent with overall award. See also, Volmut, § 31-275(1), § 31-275(16), § 31-294d, § 31-298, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-301-4.
Francis v. Rushford Centers, Inc., 5428 CRB-8-09-2 (February 8, 2010).
Claimant sustained initial lumbar injury working in Arizona which resulted in 20% permanent partial disability; and was injured again working in CT where her disability rate increased to 25%. Under AZ law, claimant had not received an award for permanency from initial injury as that state’s law required loss of earning capacity before such an award could be issued. Claimant sought payment of entire disability award from CT employer. CT employer argued AZ permanency award was now “payable” as claimant had now lost time from work. Trial Commissioner found for claimant, and awarded sanctions for unreasonable contest. CRB upheld permanency award but revised on issue of sanctions. Issue herein was a complex matter of statutory interpretation and trial commissioner made no subordinate findings of fact the defense was irrelevant, unreasonable, or interposed for the purpose of delay, unlike Duffy v. Greenwich-Board of Education, 4930 CRB-7-05-3 (May 15, 2006) where commissioner found defense “incredulous”. See also Francis, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-308, § 31-349.
DiBlase v. Logistec of CT., Inc., 5362 CRB-3-08-07 (April 28, 2009).
CRB affirmed trial commissioner’s dismissal of claimant’s claim for an attorney’s fee on the basis of unreasonable contest/delay. In prior proceedings Respondents asserted a defense on the basis that subject matter jurisdiction existed solely in federal law as injury occurred over navigable waters. Trial commissioner found in respondent’s favor, CRB affirmed on the basis of established precedent and stare decisis. Matter appealed to Supreme Court, where court reversed CRB and earlier precedent insofar as it applied to the instant matter and held concurrent jurisdiction existed under Conn. Workers’ Compensation law. (See DiBlase v. Logistec of CT., Inc., 4896 CRB-4-04-12 (January 19, 2006), rev’d, 283 Conn. 129 (2007), § 31-278). Claimant then sought a finding of unreasonable contest pursuant to § 31-300. Trier’s conclusion that respondents defense on jurisdictional grounds did not constitute an unreasonable contest was not abuse of the trier’s discretion.
Abrahamson v. State/Dept. of Public Works, 5280 CRB-2-07-10 (February 26, 2009).
Trial commissioner ordered interest on late payment of permanency pursuant to both § 31 295(c) C.G.S. and § 31 300 C.G.S. CRB remanded, seeking clarification as to which statute constituted basis for award and whether there had been undue delay. On remand, trier found no undue delay and awarded interest pursuant to 31-300 C.G.S. only. Claimant appealed, arguing respondents improperly contested permanency because of apportionment reimbursement concerns and claimant was therefore entitled to mandatory interest pursuant to § 31 295(c) C.G.S. plus interest and attorney’s fees pursuant to § 31-300 C.G.S. CRB upheld award of interest pursuant to § 31-300 C.G.S. noting permanency continued to be litigated after claimant was rated due to complications in claimant’s medical history and a potential statute of non claim defense. CRB also determined that unlike § 31-303 C.G.S, neither § 31-295(c) C.G.S. nor § 31 300 C.G.S. allow for simultaneous payment of interest. CRB upheld trier’s finding of no undue delay on grounds that, in addition to medical record issues, claimant’s availability for litigation was hampered by his ill health and residence out-of-state for part of the year. Trier denied claimant’s Motion to Correct in its entirety. See also, Abrahamson, § 31-295(c), § 31 301, Factual Findings. § 31 303, § 31-301-4.
Schenkel v. Richard Chevrolet, Inc., 5302 CRB-8-07-12 (November 21, 2008).
Respondent sanctioned for unreasonable delay and unreasonable contest; claimant had sought change in medication and finding he was now totally disabled. CRB upheld. Record indicated multiple hearings failed to resolve dispute over medical treatment. Also respondent’s examiner opined claimant was now totally disabled. Sanctions herein consistent with precedent in Duffy v. Greenwich-Board of Education, 4930 CRB-7-05-3 (May 15, 2006) and Marra v. Ann Taylor Stores Corp., 5027 CRB-3-05-11 (December 29, 2006). See also, Schenkel, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-307.
Potvin v. Lincoln Service & Equipment, 5258 CRB-3-07-8 (November 12, 2008).
See also, Potvin, § 31-288, § 31-301. Appeal procedure.
Kuhar v. Frank Mercede & Sons, Inc., 5250 CRB-7-07-7 (July 11, 2008).
Claimant sought attorney’s fees and interest as a result of receiving fewer than ten benefit checks each less than two weeks late. CRB upheld trial commissioner’s decision to deny request. See also Kuhar, § 31-288, § 31-301. Appeal procedure.
Ellis v. State/Department of Developmental Services, 5242 CRB-5-07-7 (July 8, 2008).
Claimant appealed from Finding and Award ordering her to pay her former attorney his fees and costs associated with the full and final global settlement of several workers’ compensation claims several years before for which claimant was paid directly by the state claims administrator. Claimant filed untimely Petition for Review, failed to file Reasons of Appeal, and filed untimely brief. Claimant also failed to attend CRB hearing or seek a postponement. CRB dismissed appeal on the basis of appellant’s failure to comply with statutory twenty-day time limit pursuant to § 31 301(a), and noted that even if the Petition for Review had been timely, CRB would have dismissed the appeal pursuant to Practice Book § 85-1 because the appellant failed to prosecute appeal with proper diligence. See also Ellis, § 31-301. Appeal Procedure.
Hummel v. Marten Transport, Ltd., 5303 CRB-5-07-11 (May 14, 2008), aff’d, 114 Conn. App. 822 (2009), cert. denied, Conn. (2009).
Following remand, trial commissioner levied monetary penalties on respondent for failing to make payments pending appeal. Commissioner assessed 20% penalty on unpaid survivor’s benefits and burial benefits and awarded claimant legal fees for hearings where post-appeal relief was sought. Respondents appealed, challenging amount of fees awarded, and CRB upheld trial commissioner. On issue of attorney’s fees, trial commissioner has the option to award a legal fee greater than guidelines allow Heene v. Professional Ambulance Service, Inc., 3743 CRB-6-97-12 (January 8, 1999). Commissioner did not abuse discretion based on facts in record. See also, Hummel § 31-301(f) C.G.S., § 31-303 C.G.S.
McFarland v. State/Dept. of Developmental Services, 5176 CRB-5-06-12 (December 21, 2007), aff’d in part; rev’d in part, 115 Conn. App. 306 (2009).
Trial commissioner awarded attorney’s fees, finding respondent’s delay and contest was associated with respondent’s disciplinary action against claimant. Respondents appealed arguing they had defense on merits. CRB upheld award; trial commissioner did not abuse discretion to award sanctions. On appeal, Appellate Court reversed on attorney’s fees issue; found trial commissioner had insufficient factual grounds to levy sanctions. See also, McFarland, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-288, § 31-307, § 31-310.
Christy v. Ken’s Beverage, Incorporated, 5157 CRB-8-06-11 (December 7, 2007).
Claimant awarded interest on delayed award but not attorney’s fees. Trial commissioner’s articulation indicated he did not find fault with respondent. CRB upheld; decision consistent with Abrahamson v. State/Dept. of Public Works, 5054 CRB-2-06-1 (January 9, 2007); plus commissioner found for respondent on key issues. CRB denied effort by claimant to submit late evidence she asserted would justify award of attorney’s fees. See also Christy § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-307, § 31-294c.
Merenski v. Greenwich Hospital Association, Inc., 5076 CRB-7-06-4 (June 18, 2007).
CRB concluded commissioner’s decision not late as it was issued within 120 days of the scheduled pro forma hearing closing the record. CRB affirmed trier’s conclusion respondent unreasonably contested and unduly delayed matters and affirmed amount of attorney’s fees awarded as well as date when undue delay began. Unreasonable contest and undue delay supported by, among other things, 2Ĺ year delay in assertion of jurisdictional defense determined to be without merit by this board, multiple hearing continuances for expert witness testimony which was redundant of respondent’s other medical expert’s opinion, filing of appeal, extending time for prosecuting appeal and withdrawing appeal after failing to comply with extended deadlines. See prior decisions at Merenski, 4292 CRB-7-00-9 (September 12, 2001), § 31-294c and Merenski, 4822 CRB-7-04-6 (January 12, 2005), § 31-301. Appeal procedure.
Testone v. C.R. Gibson Co., 5045 CRB-5-06-1 (May 30, 2007), aff’d, 114 Conn. App. 210 (2009), cert. denied, 292 Conn. 914 (2009).
CRB upheld trial commissioner’s denial of attorney’s fees for alleged unreasonable contest. Since trial commissioner found for the respondents on the substantive issues, it was not an abuse of discretion to determine there had not been an unreasonable contest. See also, Testone, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-307, § 31-308(a).
Liebel v. Stratford, 5070 CRB-4-06-3 (May 17, 2007).
CRB affirmed trier’s denial of attorney’s fee award to claimant’s wife, an attorney, who represented claimant without written fee agreement during informal hearing stage of claim, and who represented claimant in post-formal-hearing stage under fee agreement whose provisions regarding settlement of disagreements regarding fees and expenses conflicted with terms of Commission’s fee guidelines. CRB also affirmed attorney’s fee award to counsel who represented claimant at formal hearing, insofar as certain charges were excluded. See Liebel, § 31-294c, § 31-294d, § 31-295, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-312; also cited at Liebel, § 31-278, § 31-298, § 31-307.
Hummel v. Marten Transport, LTD., 5080 CRB-5-06-4 (April 19, 2007), aff’d, 114 Conn. App. 822 (2009), cert. denied, Conn. (2009).
CRB affirmed trier’s conclusion claimant was entitled to interest and attorney’s fees pursuant to § 31-300 due to respondents’ undue delay in making payments to the dependent spouse following order pursuant to § 31-301(f). See, Hummel v. Marten Transport, LTD, 5080 CRB-5-06-4 (April 19, 2007) § 31-288, § 31-301(f), § 31-303, § 31-306, § 31-307(e).
Edwards v. Pratt & Whitney, 5030 CRB-1-05-11 (January 9, 2007).
Claimant was entitled to COLAs without order or award from commissioner pursuant to § 31-306(a)(2). Respondents adopted calculation method that underpaid claimant. Trier ruled that claimant was entitled to interest on underpaid COLAs. Award did not contain a finding of undue delay due to fault or neglect, so CRB presumed trier had awarded interest for delay without fault or neglect. As per § 31-300, trier should have provided respondents with opportunity to demonstrate that a fair and reasonable interest rate would be less than rate provided by § 37-3a. However, respondents did not raise issue of interest rate in Motion to Correct, nor did they attempt to introduce evidence favoring lower interest rate. Interest award upheld. See also, Edwards, § 31-303, § 31-306.
Abrahamson v. State/Department of Public Works, 5054 CRB-2-06-1 (January 9, 2007).
Trial commissioner awarded statutory interest of 10% on delayed award but did not award claimant attorney’s fees. Claimant appealed denial of attorney’s fees. CRB remanded matter. Record unclear on whether trial commissioner made finding of neglect or delay on respondent’s part, as per identical fact pattern in Ortiz v. Highland Sanitation, 4439 CRB-4-01-9 (November 12, 2002) such finding is necessary to award attorney’s fees. Also remanded for finding as to whether interest award was based on Sec. 31-295(c).
Marra v. Ann Taylor Stores Corp., 5027 CRB -3-05-11 (December 29, 2006).
Respondents contested claim for chronic knee pain and pain management treatment. Respondents’ examiner agreed with treating physician on critical issues as to causation of the pain, need for pain management, and presence of pain syndrome. CRB upheld award of attorney’s fees for unreasonable contest; no abuse of discretion in ordering sanctions against respondent. See also, Marra, § 31-294d, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-307, § 31-308(b).
Hicking v. State/Dept. of Correction, 5026 CRB-2-05-11 (November 3, 2006).
CRB affirmed trial commissioner’s award of attorney’s fees on the basis of respondent’s unreasonable contest. Appellant’s failure to provide a transcript deprives the CRB of the opportunity to engage in a meaningful review.
Duffy v. Greenwich-Board of Education, 4930 CRB-7-05-3 (May 15, 2006).
Claimant injured falling on ice in January. Respondents did not schedule medical examination for nearly ten months. Results of medical examination corroborated treating physician’s opinion claimant suffered compensable injury. Respondents did not execute a Voluntary Agreement, and continued to contest claim. Further, respondents had adopted claimant’s description of accident in letter to parents. Facts in record supported finding of unreasonable contest and justified an award of attorney’s fees. See also, Duffy, § 31-275(1), § 31-288(b), § 31-294b, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-307, § 31-308a.
Lopez v. Lowe’s Home Improvement Center, 4922 CRB-6-05-3 (March 29, 2006).
Claimant injured back while lifting gas grill and was later terminated by respondent for nonattendance. Respondent rejected demands for partial incapacity award at informal hearings and at formal hearing. Trial commissioner found formal hearing defense not credible. Decision to award attorney’s fees is discretionary for the trier. Affirmed. See also, Lopez, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-308a.
Collazo v. Microboard Processing, 4912 CRB-4-05-1 (January 19, 2006).
Respondent appeals sanctions under § 31-300 C.G.S. for unreasonable contest. CRB upheld trial commissioner. Record indicated respondent’s carrier had “accepted” claim and subsequently contested liability; if such acceptance was somehow limited, respondent required to document limitations to claimant in writing or ambiguity to be resolved against respondent. Trier had discretion to order sanctions for unreasonable contest. See, Collazo, § 31-301. Factual findings.
Vetre v. State/Dept. of Children & Families, 4848 CRB-6-04-8 (August 19, 2005).
CRB affirmed trier’s determination of no unreasonable delay in payment of medical bills. See also, Vetre, § 31-278, § 31-298, § 31-301-9, § 31-307a.
Horobin v. West Haven, 4724 CRB-3-03-9 (December 2, 2004).
Respondent CIRMA first raised objection to untimely award 208 days after issuance. CRB held that objection was not seasonable, and deemed it waived. See, Horobin, § 31-296. Voluntary agreements (approval of), § 31-298, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-307, § 31-349.
Izzo v. American Compressed Gases, 4678 CRB-3-03-6 (August 5, 2004).
When awarding interest for payments delayed without fault or neglect pursuant to § 31-300, trier must determine what rate is “fair and reasonable” given advantage of employer or insurer’s use of money, and must allow employer or insurer opportunity to show that rate under circumstances should be less than that prescribed by § 37-3a.
Calabro v. Northeast Graphics, Inc., 4707 CRB-3-03-8 (July 27, 2004).
CRB remanded award of attorneys fees and interest under § 31-300 for lack of requisite factual basis for the finding. See also, Calabro, § 31-307.
Dobson v. Thames Valley Sanitation, 4645 CRB-6-03-3 (July 22, 2004).
CRB remanded issue of respondents’ unreasonable contest/delay to the trial commissioner where the trier’s conclusion on this issue was predicated, in part, on a factual finding the respondents sought to amend in their Motion to Correct and to which the claimant conceded there was no dispute. See also, Dobson, § 31-275(1)(D).
Capozzo v. Milford Jai Alai, 4655 CRB-3-03-3 (March 26, 2004).
CRB reversed trial commissioner’s ruling the respondents unduly delayed the authorization for claimant’s surgery as the respondents were not given adequate notice the issue was under consideration. Matter remanded for further proceedings consistent with respondents’ due process rights. See also, Capozzo § 31-298.
Watters v. Rural Gas Co., 4649 CRB-4-03-3 (March 17, 2004).
CRB upheld trial commissioner’s dismissal of claim for attorney’s fees and interest brought forward several months after award for benefits.
Jacobson v. General Dynamics/Electric Boat Div., 4642 CRB-2-03-3 (March 12, 2004).
CRB concluded trial commissioner’s decision was not late under § 31-300’s requirement a decision be issued within 120 days after last hearing. While appellant contends the two hearings held after the submission of briefs were meaningless, nonetheless appellant’s representative attended, and raised no objection. Furthermore, both hearings were held after 120 days passed from the hearing date to which appellant attached significance.
Audi v. Blakeslee Arpaia Chapman, 4624 CRB-3-03-12, 4311 CRB-3-00-10 (February 10, 2004).
See, Audi, § 31-278, § 31-284(b)(self-insured employer is responsible for sanctions associated with undue delay in administering claims, even if delay was attributable to allegedly unauthorized acts of agent), § 31-288. See prior decision Audi, 3418 CRB-3-96-9 (August 4, 1997), § 31-349 and Audi, 4151 CRB-3-99-11, 4 (June 26, 2001), § 31-296, § 31-298, § 31-301-9, § 31-307, § 31-315.
Bernardo v. Capri Bakery, 4570 CRB-3-02-9 (February 10, 2004).
CRB found appellants’ objection to the untimeliness of trier’s decision was not seasonable. Appellants first raised objection in Amended Reasons of Appeal filed 119 days after the trier’s decision was issued. See also, Bernardo, § 31-301. Factual findings and § 31-294d.
Murray v. Mass Mutual Life Ins. Co., 4590 CRB-1-02-11 (November 20, 2003).
When evaluating claim of unreasonable contest, trier may rely on respondents’ pattern of conduct in defending case. Acceptance of carpal tunnel injury could be taken into account as evidence that denial of cubital tunnel syndrome was not in bad faith. Further, trial commissioner is in best position to determine whether defense has been reasonably conducted. Medical reports here left open possibility that flare-up of cubital tunnel symptoms might be due to some other stimulus aside from job. No abuse of discretion in denying unreasonable contest claim. See also, Murray, § 31-294d, § 31-296. Voluntary agreements (discontinuance of payments), § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-307, § 31-308(a).
Hudson v. State/Dept. of Correction, 4582 CRB-3-02-11 (October 31, 2003).
CRB remanded trier’s finding on the issue of unreasonable contest as no evidentiary record existed. See also, Hudson, § 5-142(a), § 31-301. Appeal procedure.
Blaha v. Logistec Connecticut, Inc., 4544 CRB-3-02-6 (July 9, 2003).
Trier made finding of unreasonable contest. Issue was first raised in proposed findings. CRB held that, though trier can make sua sponte finding of unreasonable contest without prior notice to parties, it must be construed as a preliminary finding, with either party having the right to raise it at full evidentiary hearing. Remanded for consideration on merits. See also, Blaha, § 31-298, § 31-312.
Kolomiets v. Syncor International Group, 4578 CRB-7-02-11 (July 8, 2003).
CRB vacated trial commissioner’s decision, which had been issued 153 days after last hearing. Claimant’s objection was filed simultaneously with timely petition for review, and was therefore seasonable. No waiver of right to timely decision. Prior decision at Kolomiets, 16 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 234, 3251 CRB-7-96-1 (June 23, 1997), rev’d, 51 Conn. App. 523 (1999), aff’d, 252 Conn. 261 (2000), § 31-275(1), § 31-301. Factual findings.
Simotas v. Norwalk Hospital, 4530 CRB-7-02-5 (May 20, 2003).
CRB concluded that the appellant’s objection to the trier’s failure to render decision within 120 days was seasonable and the matter was remanded for a new trial.
Matey v. Dember, 4488 CRB-7-02-2, 4532 CRB-5-02-5 (May 14, 2003), appeal dismissed for failure to comply with Supreme Court’s directive, 85 Conn. App. 198 (2004).
Affirmed trier’s finding interest not due under § 31-300 as claimant failed to specify on what grounds she was seeking interest, undue delay, or unreasonable contest and trier’s determination on these matters are discretionary. See also, Matey, § 31-278, § 31-307, § 31-307a, § 31-303. See, Matey v. Dember, 256 Conn. 456 (2004).
Milliot v. Yale University, 4527 CRB-3-02-5 (May 14, 2003).
Section 31-300 was listed on hearing notices as contested issue; however, claimant’s counsel indicated at outset of formal hearings that he would not be pursuing that issue “at this time.” No further mention was made of sanctions for unreasonable contest or undue delay until claimant filed his proposed findings. CRB held that remand was necessary to determine whether respondent had adequate notice that this issue had been revived under all the circumstances, as respondent was entitled to rely on claimant’s initial indication that § 31-300 would not be addressed. See also, Milliot, § 31-307.
Ortiz v. Highland Sanitation, 4439 CRB-4-01-9 (November 12, 2002).
See, Ortiz, § 31-295 (10% interest award was not entered pursuant to § 31-300, but rather § 31-295), Ortiz, § 31-301. Factual findings.
Colon v. CEI Bottling & Distribution Co., 4470 CRB-3-01-12 (November 12, 2002).
CRB affirmed finding of unreasonable contest and undue delay. Contemporaneous hospital report listed claimant as alleging that her injury had occurred the previous day, as she alleged at trial; respondents also provided immediate medical care. Attempts to impeach her testimony could reasonably be construed as attempts to evade responsibility rather than as indicia of sound basis for denying claim.
Regan v. Torrington, 4456 CRB-5-01-11 (October 25, 2002).
CRB affirmed finding of undue delay and award of 12% interest, as total disability was not paid as required by statute. Facts justified drawing of inferences that supported finding of undue delay. CRB also remanded on attorney’s fee, as no formal hearings were held (save pro forma hearing), and respondents did not have opportunity to cross-examine regarding accuracy of figures in attorney’s affidavit. See also, Regan, § 31-278, § 31-307.
Arcano v. Stamford, 4447 CRB-7-01-10 (October 10, 2002).
CRB affirmed trier’s award of attorney’s fees where respondents did not object when claimant’s counsel detailed basis for fee amount requested. Further, only the amount of the fee was challenged, and not the trier’s finding of undue delay.
Prescott v. Community Health Center, Inc., 4426 CRB-8-01-8 (August 23, 2002).
CRB deferred to trier’s finding that there was no unreasonable contest, as trier was in better position than board to gauge legitimacy of respondents’ uncertainties regarding origin of injury and motives in defending case. See also, Prescott, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-307, § 31-310.
Strona v. Textron Lycoming Division, 4398 CRB-4-01-5 (August 6, 2002).
CRB affirmed finding of unreasonable contest, as it was within trier’s discretion to rely upon claimant’s assertions that respondents had continuously failed to authorize medical treatment over a four-year span. Subsequent decision at Strona, 4700 CRB-3-03-7 (August 6, 2004) and 4938 CRB-3-05-5 (October 3, 2005).
Angiletta v. A & K Railroad Materials, Inc., 4411 CRB-3-01-6 (August 6, 2002).
Issue: whether claimant waived 120-day time limit by sending two letters to trial commissioner requesting that a decision be issued promptly. Claimant’s letters requested that the trier issue a decision, but did not request a new formal hearing. Board declined to construe request for issuance of decision as an objection to lateness of decision, as this would allow complaining party to review decision upon its issuance, and then choose whether to enforce 120-day rule. CRB expressed desire to avoid this type of possible gamesmanship.
McCurrey v. Nutmeg Express, 4342 CRB-5-01-1 (January 3, 2002).
CRB affirmed award of $2500 attorney’s fee where employer failed to introduce promised evidence of claimant’s compensation rate, or any evidence supporting their contest of total disability claim. Trier’s granting of motion for attorney’s fee was implicit finding of unreasonable contest, and $2500 amount was explained by counsel’s affidavit and was not itself challenged by respondents. See also, McCurrey, § 31-288, § 31-310.
Spak v. Shelton Lakes Residence, 4372 CRB-4-01-3 (December 7, 2001).
Board dismissed claimant’s appeal insofar as it related to § 31-290a claim. However, as claimant also alleged error in trier’s denial of request for interest and attorney’s fees (a separate matter), CRB considered that issue, finding no error. Prior decision at Spak, 4372 CRB-4-01-3 (April 26, 2001), § 31-301. Appeal procedure.
DiBello v. Barnes Page Wire Products, 4290 CRB-7-00-9 (September 25, 2001).
Trier corrected findings to reflect undue delay in payment of compensation. Attorney’s fee had been awarded, but not interest. CRB remanded as required by Imbrogno v. Stamford Hospital, 28 Conn. App. 113 (1992), which does not allow awards of one without the other in cases of undue delay. See also, DiBello, § 31-308a. Prior decision at Dibello, 3970 CRB-7-99-2 (March 2, 2000), aff’d, 67 Conn. App. 361 (2001), cert. granted, 260 Conn. 915 (2002), appeal withdrawn (June 26, 2002), § 31-278, § 31-294c, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-301-9, § 31-348.
Cirrito v. Resource Group Ltd. of Conn., 4248 CRB-1-00-6 (June 19, 2001).
CRB affirmed trier’s award of interest and attorney’s fees on unpaid temporary partial benefits and delayed weekly checks. Some temporary partial benefits remained unpaid despite uncontradicted evidence that claimant could not maintain concurrent employment position due to injury, while other benefits were improperly discontinued without the filing of a Form 36 as required by § 31-296. However, case was remanded on amount of attorney’s fee where trier denied request of respondents’ counsel to summon claimant’s counsel to the stand for questioning regarding the figures in his attorney’s fee petition. Also, CRB could not discern trier’s thought process in setting $10,000 as amount of fee award. See also, Cirrito, § 31-294d, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-298.
Bilodeau v. Bristol Assn. for Retarded Citizens, 4245 CRB-6-00-5 (May 29, 2001).
Trier awarded attorney’s fees based on unreasonable contest of neck surgery. No error in failing to award interest, as there was no evidence that any payments were unduly delayed. See also, Bilodeau, § 31-293, § 31-299a.
Schreck v. Stamford, 3322 CRB-7-96-4 (May 17, 2001).
In a footnote, CRB rejected claimant’s argument that trier’s decision was void due to violation of 120-day rule. Claimant did not object until Reasons for Appeal were filed, which constituted waiver of statutory time limit. See Schreck, § 31-293, § 31-301. Appeal procedure. Appellate Court reversed this ruling and remanded case for new hearing, holding that waiver of right to void late judgment is not relinquished by mere silence prior to issuance of decision. As claimant objected to lateness of decision on the day he received it, the objection was seasonable, and new hearing was necessary. Prior decision at Schreck, 3322 CRB-7-96-4 (September 23, 1997) (dismissal order), rev’d, 51 Conn. App. 92 (1998), rev’d on different grounds, 250 Conn. 592 (1999), appeal reinstated, 3322 CRB-7-96-4 (July 21, 2000), § 31-301. Appeal procedure.
Melendez v. Valley Metallurgical, 4178 CRB-2-00-1 (May 1, 2001).
Statutory changes in amount of interest payable under § 31-300 and § 37-3a apply to existing debts, as of date amendment takes effect. However, attorney’s fees could not be charged to respondents, as they were not allowed for undue delay in 1970, when decedent was injured. Amendment did not take effect until 1988, and inclusion of attorney’s fees imposed new, substantive obligation on respondents. Trier reduced legal fee to 12% of recovery without explanation of reasons behind reduction; CRB remanded for articulation. Interest award based only upon principal made up of late COLA payments would differ from an interest award also based in part on late payments of weekly benefits, as different interest rates apply to “adjustments” and “payments” under § 31-300 “undue delay” provision. See also, Melendez, §§ 31-278, 31-298, 31-303; and see decision on motion in Melendez, 4178 CRB-2-00-1 (May 24, 2001) (claimant moved to correct/articulate CRB opinion), § 31-301. Appeal procedure. Related decision in Melendez, 4178 CRB-2-00-1 (November 19, 2003), rev’d, 86 Conn. App. 880 (2005)(no jurisdiction to rule on motion to reopen CRB decision), § 31-301. Appeal procedure.
Soares v. Glass Industries, 4140 CRB-3-99-10 (April 10, 2001).
Trier could not levy $1000 fee against Second Injury Fund for unreasonable contest/unreasonable prosecution of reimbursement claim when, at time of injury, § 31-300 only allowed fee awards in cases where claimant prevailed or where benefits were discontinued without proper notice. See also, Soares, § 31-301(f). Prior decision at Soares, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 189, 1377 CRB-3-92-1 (May 4, 1994), infra, § 31-297, § 31-307b, § 31-315.
Schiano v. Bliss Exterminating Co., 4104 CRB-4-99-8 (February 21, 2001), rev’d, 260 Conn. 21 (2002).
See Schiano, § 31-278, § 31-303. Prior decisions at Schiano, 3436 CRB-4-96-10 (April 8, 1998), and Schiano, 1852 CRB-4-93-9 (December 7, 1994), aff’d, 57 Conn. App. 406 (2000), both discussed at § 31-293 and, with regard to the 1994 CRB decision, § 31-301. Appeal procedure as well, and Schiano, 3315 CRB-4-96-4 (May 16, 1997), § 31-301. Appeal procedure.
Pantanella v. Enfield Ford, 4129 CRB-1-99-9 (December 19, 2000).
CRB affirmed trial commissioner’s award of $800 attorney’s fee against appellant Connecticut Insurance Guaranty Association. Trier had jurisdiction to issue attorney’s fee award while merits of case were on appeal to Appellate Court. Undue delay underlying award was premised on conduct of appellant that had not been the subject of a previous award of attorney’s fees, and the amount of the fee was supported by an affidavit that the appellant could have contested if it had chosen to do so. See also, Pantanella, § 31-298; prior decisions at Pantanella, 3937 CRB-1-98-11 (January 7, 2000), § 31-299b, § 31-300, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-298, § 31-315; and Pantanella, 3377 CRB-1-96-7 (January 28, 1998), § 31-298, § 31-299b, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-355(e). Cases No. 3937 and 3377 aff’d, 65 Conn. App. 46 (2001), cert. denied, 258 Conn. 930 (2001).
Wierzbicki v. Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 4147 CRB-1-99-11 (December 19, 2000).
CRB affirmed trier’s denial of attorney’s fees and interest for undue delay and unreasonable contest, as there was evidence that etiology of seizures was uncertain. See also, Wierzbicki, § 31-294c, § 31-307.
Vetre v. State/Dept. of Children and Families, 3443 CRB-6-98-12 (November 28, 2000).
CRB affirmed award of attorney’s fees, as trier could reasonably have found state’s delay in contesting liability for psychiatric treatment to be unreasonable. However, case was remanded for new determination of sum of fee award, as there was no evidence in record to establish an appropriate amount. See also, Vetre, § 31-297, § 31-298, § 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).
Sharkey v. Stamford, 4068 CRB-7-99-6 (November 17, 2000).
Whether to award attorney’s fees and interest for unreasonable delay and/or unreasonable contest pursuant to § 31-300 is a discretionary decision to be made by the trial commissioner. Here, the trier found that in light of complex legal and medical issues, respondents’ contest was reasonable, and respondents did not unduly delay processing of claim. Board found no abuse of discretion. See also, Sharkey, § 31-349.
Kay v. Hubbard-Hall, Inc. 4092 CRB-5-99-7 (October 20, 2000).
CRB held that claimant waived the mandatory 120-day period, where claimant’s letter of protest was mailed after the trier’s decision had been issued. The 120 days commenced on the date the last brief was filed, and expired on July 13, 1999. Finding and Dismissal was issued on July 14, 1999. The claimant’s letter of protest was mailed on July 15, 1999 and apparently “crossed in the mail” with the Finding and Dismissal. Board found waiver where the trier’s decision was issued prior to the claimant’s letter being mailed on July 15th, and noted that the Finding and Dismissal was indeed received by one of the parties on July 15th. The board explicitly rejected the respondents’ argument that the 120-day rule applies to awards but not dismissals, as the term “award” in § 31-300 was meant to apply both to awards and dismissals. See also, Kay, § 31-275(1), § 31-275(16).
Bilotta v. Connecticut Natural Gas Corp., 4106 CRB-1-99-8 (October 5, 2000).
Where two awards of permanency were given based on two different medical reports, CRB modified trial commissioner’s interest award to reflect the different dates of the underlying medical opinions. See also Bilotta, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-308(b). Prior decision at Bilotta, 3536 CRB-1-97-2 (May 26, 1998), § 31-308(a), § 31-308(b).
Simmons v. Temporary Labor Corp., 3975 CRB-6-99-2 (May 25, 2000).
Trier awarded $5000 attorney’s fee after finding respondents unreasonably contested liability and unduly delayed benefits. Though advance notice of issue to parties was unnecessary for the trier to make findings regarding impropriety of employer’s conduct in defending claim, the amount of an attorney’s fee is generally determined after both sides are informed that the subject is being considered. Here, claimant’s affidavit regarding expenses was not received by commission until after decision had been issued, and respondents only had two business days to file an objection to the claimant’s request for fees in her proposed findings. CRB remanded this issue so that technical requirements of due process could be satisfied. See also, Simmons, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-275(1).
Saleh v. Poquonock Giant Grinder Shop, 4005 CRB-1-99-3 (March 13, 2000).
CRB found trier’s determination of unreasonable delay and contest was amply supported by the record where claimant’s treating physician had increased his permanent partial disability rating, and respondent did not depose treating physician prior to formal hearing. Though the amount of attorney’s fees was not specifically addressed at the formal hearing, the commissioner’s fee award of $2,500 was supported by the record. See also, Saleh, § 31-279-2, § 31-298, § 31-301-9 and § 31-315.
Auger v. Stratford, 3944 CRB-4-98-12 (January 14, 2000), rev’d, 64 Conn. App. 75 (2001).
No error in trial commissioner’s failure to grant corrections regarding entitlement to interest or attorney’s fees, as reasonable minds could differ on the instant legal question, and undue delay was not shown as a matter of law. Appellate Court reversed on the underlying § 31-284b issue. See also, Auger, § 31-284b, § 7-433c and § 31-296 Voluntary agreements (discontinuance of payments).
Pantanella v. Enfield Ford, 3937 CRB-1-98-11 (January 7, 2000), aff’d, 65 Conn. App. 46 (2001), cert. denied, 258 Conn. 930 (2001).
CRB affirmed trial commissioner’s assessment of attorney’s fees and interest on ground of undue delay, as appellant’s conduct could warrant such sanctions. See also Pantanella, § 31-298, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-298, § 31-315. Subsequent decision at Pantanella, 4220 CRB-1-00-4 (December 19, 2000), supra and at § 31-298. Prior decision at Pantanella, 3377 CRB-1-96-7 (January 28, 1998), § 31-298, 31-299b, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-355(e).
Bailey v. State/Greater Hartford Community College, 3922 CRB-2-98-10 (November 30, 1999), aff’d in part, rev’d in part, 65 Conn. App. 592 (2001).
Award of attorney’s fees was properly made following hearings concerning the limited issue of the period of claimant’s temporary total disability. Prior decision at Bailey, 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 433, 3152 CRB-5-95-8 (September 3, 1996), § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-301. Factual findings. Trier may decide sua sponte that respondent’s argument lacks sufficient merit to constitute reasonable ground of contest, and award attorney’s fees. In fact, the trial commissioner who presides over the hearings is the best person to perform that task, as he is the person most familiar with the proceedings. Trier here based his decision on permissible evidentiary rulings. See prior decision at Bailey, 3694 CRB-1-97-9 (January 12, 1999), aff’d in part, rev’d in part, 65 Conn. App. 592 (2001), § 31-298, § 31-301. Appeal procedure. Factual foundation existed for a finding of unreasonable contest. A second award of attorney’s fees was reversed, however, as a previous commissioner had not actually ordered the respondent to pay the claimant a $12,000 attorney’s fee, contrary to the trier’s assumption. See also, Bailey, § 31-307, § 31-284b, § 31-294d, § 31-301. Factual findings.
Saporoso v. Aetna Life & Casualty, 3759 CRB-1-98-11 (September 3, 1999).
Claimant/appellant failed to object to lateness of trial commissioner’s decision until after it was issued, and her objection was accordingly deemed waived. See also, Saporoso, § 31-301. Factual findings.
Lalanne v. Greenwich, 3914 CRB-7-98-10 (September 2, 1999).
CRB held that claimant waived the 120 day rule even though claimant’s counsel alleged that it had inquired with the trial commissioner several times as to when the decision would be issued. Board noted that there was no record of the claimant’s alleged protest regarding the 120-day rule. See also, Lalanne, § 31-301. Factual findings.
Malafronte v. Med-Center Home Health Care, 3888 CRB-7-98-9 (August 31, 1999).
CRB reversed trial commissioner’s finding of unreasonable contest, although trial commissioners are normally accorded wide discretion. Board held that the respondents had a reasonable basis for contesting the claimant’s claim, particularly in light of the independent medical examiner’s opinion that the injury was not work-related. See also, Malafronte, § 31-301. Factual findings.
Serfilippi v. Vision Hair Design, 3815 CRB-7-98-5 (May 21, 1999).
See, Serfilippi, § 31-296 Voluntary agreements (approval of).
Hyde v. Stop & Shop Companies, 3728 CRB-4-97-11 (February 18, 1999).
CRB affirmed award of attorney’s fees and interest for undue delay, as a careful reading of a superficially confusing award brought into focus a legally consistent interpretation of the commissioner’s conclusions. See also, Hyde, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-296 Voluntary agreements (discontinuance of payments).
Aguayo v. Franklin Mushroom Farms, Inc., 3697 CRB-2-97-1 (January 28, 1999).
CRB affirmed trier’s determination that respondents and Second Injury Fund had unreasonably contested claim of temporary total disability and unduly delayed payment for said disability and medical treatment. Fund had argued that respondents were responsible for claimant’s temporary total disability, while respondents had argued that Fund should pay. See also, Aguayo, § 31-298.
Heene v. Professional Ambulance Service, Inc., 3743 CRB-6-97-12 (January 8, 1999).
Claimant was awarded interest and attorney’s fees for unreasonable contest and undue delay. CRB affirmed award. Trier was entitled to fault respondents for withholding benefits where issue was which insurer was responsible, and where respondents failed to obtain a medical report that supported their argument that they were not responsible for the claimant’s disability. Chairman’s attorney’s fee guidelines need not be applied to awards under § 31-300 if trier thinks a greater sum is appropriate. No evidence that this award was an abuse of discretion. See also, Heene, § 31-308(a), § 31-310.
Syphers v. Dedicated Logistic Services, 3711 CRB-1-97-10 (November 16, 1998).
First, the CRB affirmed the trier’s decision that the respondents’ refusal to authorize surgery prevented the claimant from receiving necessary surgery for his compensable ankle injury, and that said conduct constituted unreasonable delay. All of the parties agreed that the claimant should undergo surgery on his ankle, and the surgery was scheduled but subsequently canceled as a result of the refusal of the respondents to authorize said surgery due to the lack of an agreement as to apportionment. Next, the CRB remanded the case because trier awarded attorney’s fees without also awarding interest. Finally, CRB agreed with the respondents’ contention that the imposition of a fine for undue delay is not permitted under § 31-300, but that a fine may be levied under § 31-288(b) in an amount of five hundred dollars or less.
McMullen v. Haynes Construction Co., 3657 CRB-5-97-7 (November 12, 1998).
Trial commissioner found that respondents had unreasonably contested liability and thus awarded attorney’s fees and interest. CRB affirmed trier’s conclusion regarding unreasonable contest and attorney’s fees. Trier had made no explicit finding of undue delay, but trier’s finding that claimant had to rely on monetary support from family and friends allowed CRB to infer undue delay of benefits.
Muldoon v. New England Installation, 3552 CRB-4-97-3 (August 24, 1998).
The trial commissioner found that both the insurance carrier and the Fund had unreasonably contested payments under § 31-301(f). Additionally, the trial commissioner found that the Fund was responsible for payments under § 31-301(f). Subsequently, pursuant to a Supreme Court decision, the order to make payments pending appeal was amended to make the carrier rather than the Fund liable. The CRB affirmed the trial commissioner’s award of attorney’s fees against the carrier for unreasonable contest, because both the carrier and the Fund knew that one of them would eventually be held liable, and therefore should have made payments rather than leave the claimant with no benefits for an extended period. Prior decision at Muldoon, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 255, 1226 CRD-4-91-5 (January 13, 1993), rev’d, 33 Conn. App. 695 (1994), rev’d, 231 Conn. 469 (1994), aff’d on remand, 37 Conn. App. 266 (1995); Muldoon, 3345A, 3345B CRB-4-96-5 (November 3, 1997); Muldoon, 3415 CRB-4-96-8 (November 3, 1997).
Rossi v. Danbury Hospital, 3608 CRB-7-97-5 (August 10, 1998).
CRB remanded case to trial commissioner for articulation of interest rate and attorney’s fees.
Czujak v. Bridgeport, 3535 CRB-4-97-2 (June 10, 1998), aff’d, 55 Conn. App. 789 (1999), cert. denied, 252 Conn. 920 (2000).
Award of attorney’s fees and interest based on undue delay was reversed, as the underlying award (an unpaid § 7-433b(b) cap adjustment) was reversed by the CRB. See also, Czujak, § 7-433c, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-307a, § 31-315. Subsequent decision at Czujak, 4371 CRB-4-01-3 (April 8, 2002), § 31-297, § 31-301(g).
Liano v. Bridgeport, 3561 CRB-4-97-3 (June 3, 1998), rev’d in part, 55 Conn. App. 75 (1999), cert. denied, 252 Conn. 909 (1999).
CRB remanded case to trial commissioner where trier awarded attorney’s fees but did not provide any findings to substantiate the amount of the award. Prior decisions at 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; Liano, 3299 CRB-4-95-10 (March 25, 1997), § 31-294c, § 31-297, § 31-301. Factual findings; Liano, 3199 CRB-4-95-10 (March 25, 1997), § 31-279-3, § 31-298, § 31-307; 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), infra and at § 7-433b, § 31-310.
Dalling v. Dalling Hauling, Inc., 3615 CRB-4-97-5 (May 26, 1998).
Trial commissioner awarded attorney’s fees. CRB remanded, as findings did not indicate basis for attorney’s fees (i.e. unreasonable delay or unreasonable contest) and did not include interest along with attorney’s fees. See also, Dalling, § 31-301. Factual findings.
Coley v. Camden Associates, Inc., 3432 CRB-2-96-9 (April 6, 1998).
In a footnote, panel approved award of $2500 attorney’s fee, and commissioner’s finding of unreasonable delay of payment of compensation. See also, Coley, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-343. Prior decision at Coley, 3432 CRB-2-96-9 (February 28, 1997), rev’d, 243 Conn. 311 (1997), § 31-301(f).
Anglero v. State/Dept. of Administrative Services, 3457 CRB-8-96-11 (March 5, 1998).
No error in awarding $2500 in attorney’s fees and interest against respondent for undue delay in payment of benefits. $2500 was a reasonable approximation of 20% of the value of the award, and the respondent was not denied due process because a “preformal hearing” was not scheduled at which the state could have tried to settle the claim. Respondent criticized for downplaying importance of informal hearing stage. See also, Anglero, § 31-308(a).
Fenn v. Hospital of St. Raphael, 3444 CRB-3-96-10 (February 25, 1998).
One hundred twenty day period starts running from the date the last trial brief is filed. See also, Fenn, § 31-298, § 31-325.
Golanski v. Wallingford/Board of Education, 3334 CRB-8-96-4 (February 2, 1998).
Claimant repeatedly missed hearings, and trier denied further postponement of formal hearing. He then refused to let claimant’s counsel introduce evidence regarding the alleged injury because the claimant was not present to establish a factual basis for the claim. He dismissed the claim “without prejudice to the claimant to file a Motion to Reopen and set aside the dismissal within four months of the granting of said Motion to Dismiss.” Respondent appealed that decision to CRB. Panel cited Santora v. A.C.E.S., 2299 CRB-3-95-11 (February 26, 1997), in which CRB stated that a dismissal “without prejudice” was an inappropriate type of decision to follow a formal hearing in workers’ compensation proceedings. This case is similar; formal hearing was a trial on the merits, and claimant did not meet his burden of proof. Trier should have dismissed claim. Insertion of language suggesting that claimant seek to reopen case, however, led claimant to believe that an appeal to CRB was unnecessary. This would deprive him of his statutory right to appeal. Further, case contained inconsistent conclusions of law. Remanded for a new trial.
Holland v. UTC/Pratt & Whitney, 3248 CRB-2-96-1 (November 14, 1997).
Commissioner’s decision was not issued within 120 days of close of last hearing. Claimant’s counsel attempted to pursue right to speedy decision soon after the 120-day limit had passed, so there was no waiver of that time limit. The Compensation Review Board further explained its reasoning in a January 30, 1998 ruling denying respondents Motion for Reconsideration.
Wilson v. Stamford, 3268 CRB-7-96-2 (November 7, 1997).
CRB held that the respondent waived its right to enforce the 120-day time limit in § 31-300 by failing to raise an objection until after the trial commissioner’s decision had been issued. CRB affirmed the trial commissioner’s determination that the respondent unreasonably contested liability for the claimant’s permanent partial disability and benefit rate in this case, as it was a factual question for the trier. CRB found no merit to the respondent’s argument that because the claimant’s claim was filed under § 7-433c the trial commissioner lacked “jurisdiction” to award interest or attorney’s fees. See also, Wilson, § 31-310. Subsequent decision at Wilson, 4506 CRB-7-02-3 (March 5, 2003), aff’d, 81 Conn. App. 339 (2004), cert. denied, 268 Conn. 918 (2004).
Vargas v. King-Conn Enterprises d/b/a Burger King Corporation, 3333 CRB-4-96-4 (October 24, 1997).
Trier ordered payment of temporary total and temporary partial disability benefits. No evidence was introduced to establish the relevant dates, however, as the commissioner simply ordered the parties to “meet and exchange information necessary” to determine the amounts owed. This is the trier’s job once a case proceeds to the formal hearing stage. Remanded. See also, Vargas, § 31-294d, § 31-295.
Rulewicz v. New Britain General Hospital, 3302 CRB-6-96-3 (September 16, 1997); VACATED: (December 5, 1997).
CRB held that the respondents waived their right to enforce the 120-day time limit in § 31-300 because they did not object to the delay of the issuance of a decision by the trial commissioner until after the decision was issued. See also, Rulewicz, § 31-349.
Ridente v. MMR Wallace, 3303 CRB-6-96-3 (August 21, 1997).
Decision issued over two years after last formal hearing and filing of proposed findings. Fund sent a letter one month before decision was issued objecting that trier did not have jurisdiction to decide case based on passage of amendment to § 31-349, but did not cite 120-day provision as a reason for their objection, and did not express concern over the time delay. CRB held this to be a waiver of the 120-day provision. See also, Ridente, § 31-349 notes.
Zering v. UTC/ Pratt & Whitney, 3321 CRB-6-96-4 (August 8, 1997).
CRB concluded that the respondents waived their right to enforce the 120-day time limit in § 31-300 as they did not object until after the trial commissioner’s decision was issued. See also, Zering, § 31-294d.
Soto v. Swank Crestline, Inc., 3255 CRB-7-96-1 (July 24, 1997).
Last formal hearing held on June 30, 1995; Fund sought, was granted one-week extension to file brief, but nothing was filed. CRB held that the 120-day period generally begins running on the date the last brief is filed, whether or not done at a pro forma hearing. Since nothing was submitted here, the clock began ticking on June 30, 1995. Decision was issued on January 11, 1996. Fund did not object to lateness of decision until after it was issued, however. CRB ruled that such inaction constituted a waiver of the 120-day provision. See also, Soto, § 31-349.
Perri v. Mitchell Motors, 16 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 242, 3259 CRB-6-96-1 (June 24, 1997).
Commissioner should not have entered finding that claimant would not be entitled to further § 31-308a benefits after the date of the formal hearing. Although that statute allows a commissioner to determine the duration of an award, he cannot presume to know that a claimant will not merit benefits in the future, as his condition is still unknown. Policy against cases being presented in a piecemeal fashion relates to delayed litigation of already-ripe issues, not inchoate future claims. See also, Perri, § 31-308a.
State v. Champagne, 16 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 245, 3269 CRB-8-96-1 (June 24, 1997).
Case remanded; no written findings or conclusions. See also, Champagne, § 31-288.
Sanchez v. Steben’s Motors, 3247 CRB-6-96-1 (December 24, 1996).
Award of attorney’s fees and interest affirmed. Whether respondents unreasonably contested liability for surgery was factual question for trial commissioner, who found that respondents waited over a year and a half after the treating physician recommended surgery to have an independent medical examination performed on the claimant. Not unreasonable for commissioner to conclude that respondents’ examiner’s disagreement on issue of causation was untimely and unreasonable ground for contest.
Deoliveira v. Ross & Roberts, Inc., 3033 CRB-4-95-4 (December 13, 1996), aff’d, 47 Conn. App. 919 (1997)(per curiam), cert. denied, 243 Conn. 965 (1998).
See, Deoliveira, § 31-275(1).
Minneman v. Norwich/Board of Education, 2294 CRB-2-95-2 (December 13, 1996), aff’d, 47 Conn. App. 913 (1997)(per curiam), cert. denied, 243 Conn. 962 (1998).
Commissioner issued decision long after the 120-day time limit had passed. Claimant raised no objection, however, until after the decision was issued and her case was dismissed. Subsumed within claimant’s argument was notion that she chose to await the late decision on her attorney’s advice; this amounts to waiver of the 120-day time limit. See also, Minneman, § 31-298, § 31-301. Factual findings.
Dichello v. Holgrath Corporation, 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 441, 2249 CRB-5-94-12 (September 5, 1996), aff’d, 49 Conn. App. 339 (1998).
Commissioner did not issue decision within 120 days of closing of record. CRB noted that former rule requiring demonstration of prejudice was overruled by Supreme Court in Stewart v. Tunxis Service Center, 237 Conn. 71 (1996). However, waiver of the 120-day deadline may still occur. Here, claimant filed a motion to open the record subsequent to the issuance of the late decision, which motion was denied by the trial commissioner. No objection was made to the late decision until amended reasons for appeal were filed nine months after the late decision. CRB held that these actions constituted waiver of the § 31-300 time limit. See also, Dichello, § 31-294d, and § 31-300.
Stewart v. Tunxis Service Center, 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 135, 1684 CRB-6-93-4 (February 1, 1995), rev’d, 237 Conn. 71 (1996).
CRB relied on Stevens v. Hartford, 8 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 134, 831 CRD-1-89-2 (August 6, 1990) and Supreme Court’s decision in Besade v. Interstate Security Services, 212 Conn. 441 (1989). CRB held, as claimant failed to assert any claim of prejudice by trier’s failure to issue a decision within 120 days, the commissioner’s decision will stand if valid in all other respects. Supreme Court reversed CRB and held statutory language was amended in 1985 adding 120-day time period, which provision supports mandatory compliance. Parties may waive noncompliance. Remanded to CRB to determine whether there was a waiver of the right to challenge the trier’s delayed decision. Stewart II. In decision dated October 30, 1996, Stewart v. Tunxis Service Center, 16 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 69, CRB cited the rules set forth by the Supreme Court regarding waiver, and distinguished the Dichello case (see above), as the claimant’s attorney here requested a new formal hearing and objected to the lateness of the decision before it was issued. Case remanded for new hearing.
Artkop v. East Coast Office Systems, Inc., 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 419, 2252 CRB-2-94-12 (August 29, 1996).
Commissioner awarded attorney’s fees and interest against respondents. Reversed: parties expressly waived claims for costs, and respondents could not be expected to defend issue once it was waived, even if record contained evidence of undue delay.
Kilton v. Cote & Sons, Inc., 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 199, 2178 CRB-7-94-10 (April 23, 1996), dismissed for lack of final judgment, A.C. 15936 (September 19, 1996).
Trial commissioner initially awarded attorney’s fees in Finding and Award. In subsequent articulation the commissioner stated that he did not award attorney’s fees to be paid by the respondents, but merely set a cap on the fees to be paid by the claimant. The commissioner found that the respondents were responsible for an “undue delay” in payments of all indemnity benefits, and thus ordered the respondents to pay twelve percent interest on those payments. As an award of interest without an award of attorney’s fees for undue delay pursuant to § 31-300 is not permissible, CRB remanded this matter to the trial commissioner. (Miles, C., DISSENTING) (the language of § 31-300 should be interpreted to allow discretion to a trial commissioner to award either interest or attorney’s fees, or both, based upon the unique circumstances of each case).
Byars v. Whyco Chromium, 14 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 386, 2187 CRB-5-94-10 (October 5, 1995), aff’d, 40 Conn. App. 938 (1996)(per curiam).
It was within commissioner’s discretion to deny attorney’s fees and interest. In the instant case, the commissioner did not find that there was a delay in payments or an unreasonable contest, and thus did not award interest. In addition, the commissioner found that the claimant was not entitled to attorney’s fees (claimant had discharged his attorney and never paid him for his services).
Palmateer v. Stop & Shop Companies, 14 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 277, 2218 CRB-2-94-11 (September 6, 1995).
Trial commissioner fined respondent $500 for failure to appear at informal hearing. Held: trial commissioner improperly relied on § 31-300 in making fine. Although § 31-288(b) could apply, no formal hearing was held, and no record existed for review--thus making an appeal impossible. Since respondent has right to appeal fine, CRB reversed. No remand.
Liano v. Bridgeport, 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).
Commissioner’s finding of unreasonable contest affirmed in light of “outside overtime” decision; further determination necessary regarding attorney’s fees. See also, Liano, § 7-433b, § 31-310. 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), supra; 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; Liano, 3299 CRB-4-95-10 (March 25, 1997), § 31-294c, § 31-297, § 31-301. Factual findings; Liano, 3199 CRB-4-95-10 (March 25, 1997), § 31-279-3, § 31-298, § 31-307.
Owens v. R. R. Donnelley & Sons, 14 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 28, 1892 CRB-2-93-11 (May 3, 1995).
Eleven-month delay in issuance of decision by commissioner is unnecessary and inequitable, but prejudice still must be shown in order to vacate award on grounds of lateness. Affirmed. See also, Owens, § 31-307a, and § 31-310. But see, Stewart v. Tunxis Service Center, 237 Conn. 71 (1996).
Cruz v. Sheraton Hartford Hotel, 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 308, 1560 CRB-1-92-11 (April 25, 1995).
At time of claimant’s 1982 injury, district jurisdiction was still in existence, and 120-day time limit for issuing decisions had not yet been enacted. 1985 amendment of § 31-300 does not require automatic divestiture of jurisdiction in commissioner if no decision reached in 120 days unless prejudice is shown. No prejudice demonstrated here. See also, Cruz, § 31-301. Appeal procedure. But see later cases.
Grillo v. Prestige Enterprises, Inc., 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 311, 1704 CRB-1-93-4 (April 25, 1995).
Where an award of attorney’s fees is made, its reasonableness depends on many factors. Here, award corresponded to 20 percent of estimated lost wages, consistent with chairman’s fee guidelines. Evidence sufficient to refute contention that commissioner abused discretion. See also, Grillo, § 31-310.
Pelletier v. M & M Builders, Inc., 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 266, 1740 CRB-5-93-5 (April 19, 1995).
Respondents did not refute claimant’s assertion that written approval for discontinuance of benefits was not obtained before payment stopped. Where CRB determined that claimant was properly entitled to benefits, § 31-300 required commissioner to award interest and attorney’s fees if payment discontinued without prior written approval. See also, Pelletier, § 31-307, and § 31-310.
Sargent v. Rybczyk Plumbing & Heating, 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 128, 1974 CRB-6-94-2 (January 31, 1995).
In light of decision upholding commissioner’s award, and finding that fee agreement existed entitling claimant’s counsel to twenty percent of benefits received as a result of counsel’s efforts, CRB had no reason to overturn award of attorney’s fees. Claimant failed to place copy of fee agreement in record and did not support allegation that weekly payment ordered by commissioner caused him hardship.
Tyc v. Calabrese Construction Co., 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 71, 1529 CRB-5-92-10 (December 29, 1994).
Claim for attorney’s fees properly denied where trier found contest by respondents reasonable. Additionally, no basis that interest rate awarded should have been at a higher rate. See also, Tyc, § 31-308(a) and § 31-310.
Weglarz v. State/Dept. of Correction, 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 35, 1648 CRB-4-93-2 (November 8, 1994).
Unless a party shows they were prejudiced by receipt of trier’s finding later than one hundred and twenty (120) days after conclusion of trial proceedings, CRB will not order a new hearing. See also, Weglarz, § 31-298. But see later cases.
Marchitto v. Hamden Upholstery Co., 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 289, 1558 CRB-3-92-11 (June 8, 1994).
CRB affirmed trier’s discretionary award of attorney’s fees.
Soares v. Glass Industries, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 189, 1377 CRB-3-92-1 (May 4, 1994).
Remanded where trier’s finding failed to address claim for interest and attorney’s fees although issue was raised below. See also, Soares, § 31-297, § 31-307b and § 31-315.
Haugh v. Leake & Nelson, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 201, 1421 CRB-2-92-5 (March 15, 1994).
CRB affirmed trier’s finding that respondent’s contest of liability was not unreasonable thereby denying claimant’s request for attorney’s fees and costs. See also, Haugh, § 31-284b, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, and § 31-307.
Versage v. Kurt Volk, Inc., 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 253, 1313 CRD-3-91-10 (November 17, 1993), dismissed for lack of final judgment, A.C. 13072 (February 16, 1994).
Remanded. Trier abused his discretion in ordering respondent insurer to pay interest pursuant to § 31-300 for period prior to the determination of maximum medical improvement and prior to demand for § 31-308 benefits. Also remanded to determine whether an award of interest pursuant to § 31-295(c) is appropriate and whether interest pursuant to § 31-300 or § 31-295(c) should lie against either the employer or insurer or both. Discussion of respondent insurer’s challenge to trier’s award of interest under the Connecticut Insurance Guaranty Association Act, § 38a-836 to § 38a-853 and the Workers’ Compensation Act.
Fletcher v. UTC/Pratt & Whitney, 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 182, 1322 CRD-8-91-10 (September 13, 1993).
CRB held even though trier’s finding was issued beyond the statutory 120 day period, here, claimant has not alleged any prejudice due to the delay. Therefore, claimant cannot obtain a new hearing. See also, Fletcher, § 31-301. Factual findings.
Petta v. Waterbury Hospital, 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 161, 1310 CRD-5-91-9 (August 23, 1993).
CRB found trier’s failure to award interest was not an abuse of discretion. See also, Petta, § 31-298, § 31-299b, § 31-301. Appeal procedure and § 31-308a.
Hunt v. Mirror Polishing and Plating Co., 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 61, 1254 CRD-5-91-7 (April 21, 1993).
Remanded to determine which respondents are liable to pay interest and attorney’s fee. See also, Hunt, § 31-301. Factual findings.
Byars v. Whyco Chromium Company, 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 39, 1257 CRD-5-91-7 (March 10, 1993), dismissed for lack of final judgment, 33 Conn. App. 667 (1994).
Remanded where record before CRB unclear as to whether or not claimant was represented by counsel in proceedings below. As trier ordered interest on the award, if claimant was represented by an attorney during any part of the proceedings below, then a reasonable attorney’s fee must be awarded. See also, Byars, § 31-294d, § 31-296, and § 31-301-9. Additional evidence.
Wheeler v. Bender Plumbing Supply of Waterbury, Inc., 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 140, 1186 CRD-5-91-3 (June 5, 1992).
Award for attorney’s fee affirmed as trier found respondents unreasonably contested liability. Such an award is a matter within the discretion of the trial commissioner.
Miner v. Watertown, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 100, 971 CRD-5-90-1 (April 28, 1992).
Reversed trier’s award for 12% interest and attorney’s fees as it is not necessary for respondent to present evidence in order to make a reasonable or good faith contest. There must be a finding of fault or neglect or unreasonable contest in order to award interest at a rate higher than that permitted by § 37-3a. As a delay in payment did in fact exist, award for interest is justified at a rate prescribed by § 37-3a. See also, Miner, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-308(a), and § 31-308(b).
Lynch v. Red Star Express, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 75, 1133 CRD-3-90-11 (March 9, 1992).
Before a commissioner’s decision may be set aside due to failure to satisfy § 31-300 time requirements (written award sent after the conclusion of any hearing no later than 120 days after such conclusion) parties must demonstrate how they were prejudiced by the delay. See also, Lynch, § 31-301. Appeal procedure.
Holevinski v. State/Southbury Training School, 9 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 215, 988 CRD-5-90-3 (September 12, 1991).
Remanded. CRD unable to determine from finding why interest on temporary total benefits was denied. See also, Holevinski, § 31-307, § 31-296.
Cummings v. Twin Manufacturing, Inc., 9 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 199, 1023 CRD-1-90-5 (August 29, 1991), aff’d, rev’d in part; further proceedings, 29 Conn. App. 249 (1992).
Claim for interest and attorney’s fees must be heard at hearing below before the CRD can review them. See also, Cummings, § 31-294d, § 31-301. Factual findings.
Imbrogno v. Stamford Hospital, 9 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 174, 967 CRD-7-90-1 (August 2, 1991), aff’d, rev’d & remanded in part, 28 Conn. App. 113 (1992), cert. denied, 223 Conn. 920 (1992).
Amount of attorney’s fee awarded within trier’s discretion where based on unreasonable delay and/or unreasonable contest of liability. CRD affirmed fee awarded based on delay in payment of certain medical claims as no unreasonable contest was found. Appellate Court held § 31-300 allows a discretionary award of both interest and attorney’s fees or neither but does not allow an award of one and not the other. Remanded for a further award of interest. See also, Imbrogno, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-301. Factual findings.
Watson v. American Cyanamid, 9 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 90, 911 CRD-8-89-8 (March 1, 1991).
Trial commissioner’s award of interest on unpaid payments of compensation affirmed where CRD held respondent’s contention of its obligation to not pay pursuant to § 31-299b unconvincing.
Chisham v. Culbro Tobacco, 9 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 36, 909 CRD-1-89-8 (February 1, 1991).
Trial commissioner’s decision not issued within 120 days in accordance with § 31-300. See, Stevens v. Hartford, 8 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 134, 831 CRD-1-89-2 (August 6, 1990), infra.
Applebee v. State/Southbury Training School, 8 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 142, 841 CRD-5-89-4 (August 20, 1990).
See, Applebee, § 31-294f.
Stevens v. Hartford, 8 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 134, 831 CRD-1-89-2 (August 6, 1990).
Failure to render decision within statutory time limits (120 days) does not deprive trial commissioner of jurisdiction. Further in order to vacate a decision which is proper in all other respects requires a showing of prejudice. See also, Stevens, § 31-301. Appeal procedure.
Trantolo v. Trantolo & Trantolo, 8 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 69, 823 CRD-6-89-2 (April 17, 1990).
Attorneys’ Fees. Whether an appellant’s filing an appeal on the basis of an issue not raised at the trial level is unreasonable delay is a factual determination to be made by the trial commissioner. See also, Trantolo, § 31-278, § 31-294c & § 31-301. Appeal procedure.
Tartakovsky v. Sohmer/Pratt & Read, 7 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 46, 666 CRD-8-87 (August 9, 1989).
Award of interest and attorneys fees within trial commissioner’s discretion. See also, Tartakovsky, § 31-327.
Hicks v. State/Dept. of Administrative Services, 6 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 111, 429 CRD-5-85 (February 23, 1989), no error, 21 Conn. App. 464 (1990), cert. denied, 216 Conn. 804 (1990).
Commissioner’s denial of mandatory interest and attorneys’ fees valid where law requiring such awards was enacted after claimant’s date of injury. Further an award for attorneys’ fees based on unreasonable contest is a matter to be decided by trial commissioner as he is in the best position to assess the weight and credibility of the evidence supporting such claims. See also, Hicks, § 31-307, § 31-308(c), § 31-308a.
Besade v. Interstate Security Services, 6 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 83, 593 CRD-2-87 (January 13, 1989), no error, 212 Conn. 441 (1989).
Respondents failed to demonstrate how delay in rendering trial commissioner’s decision prejudiced them. Subsequent decision at Besade, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 103, 1383 CRB-2-92-2 (February 28, 1994), aff’d, 37 Conn. App. 903 (1995).
Beauregard v. Hartford Hospital, 6 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 149, 603 CRD-1-87 (April 21, 1989).
CRD upheld the denial of attorney’s fees where delay was not the fault or neglect of the employer, but the result of the complexity of the litigation.
Pokorny v. Getta’s Garage, 6 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 161, 716 CRD-7-88-3 (June 2, 1989), rev’d, 22 Conn. App. 539 (1990), rev’d, 219 Conn. 439 (1991).
Award of interest and attorneys’ fees is within the discretion of the trial commissioner and will not be disturbed unless contrary to law or without evidence. Appellate Court reversed and held trial commissioner should have considered interest award under § 31-300 which permits such awards even if delay was not due to fault or neglect of the respondents. Supreme Court then reversed Appellate Court ruling. See also, Pokorny, § 31-293, § 38a-470.
Fappiano v. Nutmeg Concrete Inc., 6 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 29, 652 CRD-3-87 (September 27, 1988).
Trial commissioner’s finding that delay was not due to unreasonable contest was not an abuse of discretion.
McGloin v. Gateway Industries, 5 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 148, 618 CRD-1-87 (July 26, 1988).
Award for attorney’s fee due to undue delay is within trial commissioner’s discretion.
Carlino v. Danbury Hospital, 5 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 139, 357 CRD-7-84 (July 18, 1988).
Trial commissioner’s decision to award interest from date of CRD’s decision to reverse denial of compensation, rather than from date of incapacity, is within his discretion.
Delcarmine v. Fire Prevention Service, Inc., 5 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 123, 311 CRD-7-84 (June 27, 1988).
Awards for interest due to undue delay are based on law at time of injury. In the instant matter the applicable law provided that awards for interest were in the trial commissioner’s discretion.
Whitney v. Lapoint Garden Center, 5 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 74, 467 CRD-7-86 (April 29, 1988).
Where record showed irrebuttable presumption could lie under § 31-297(b) and no payment of medicals by employer, award for attorney’s fees was correctly awarded by trial commissioner.
Bailey v. Guilford, 5 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 47, 464 CRD-3-86 (April 7, 1988).
Matter remanded for additional proceedings to determine if a finding of unreasonable contest was in order.
Carpentino v. Perkins Trucking Co., 5 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 40, 488 CRD-3-86 (April 6, 1988), no error, 18 Conn. App. 810 (1989)(per curiam).
Where trial commissioner concluded that benefits were improperly discontinued, attorney’s fees and interest must be awarded.
Miner v. Federal Paperboard Co., 4 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 129, 333 CRD-2-84 (December 1, 1987).
Appellant’s argument alleging delay in adjudication dismissed.
Neumann v. Southern Conn. Gas Co., 4 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 62, 265 CRD-4-83 (May 8, 1987).
Award for attorney’s fees dependent on finding of unreasonable contest.
Marino v. West Haven, 4 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 34, 240 CRD-3-83 (March 16, 1987).
Remanded for further proceedings to determine if unreasonable contest and if attorneys’ fees and interest should be awarded.
Raucci v. West Haven, 3 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 94, 233 CRD-3-83 (November 17, 1986).
Matter remanded for further hearings as to an award for attorney’s fees and interest where appellant should have withdrawn the appeal and made payments after Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision in Bakelaar v. West Haven, 38 Conn. Sup. 359 (1982). See, Bakelaar, § 7-433c.
O’Leary v. New Britain, 3 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 108, 236 CRD-6-83 (December 2, 1986).
Attorney’s fees only awarded where there is an unreasonable contest.
Davis v. Dwight Building Co., 2 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 51, 129 CRD-3-82 (May 29, 1984).
Commissioner’s decision to award interest for delayed payments is discretionary. Where a 20 year delay existed, failure to award interest was an abuse of discretion.
Robinson v. Allied Grocers Cooperative, Inc., 1 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op.132, 68 CRD-1-81 (July 13, 1982), aff’d, 39 Conn. Sup. 386 (1983).
Finding of unreasonable contest is discretionary with commissioner. Dicta discussion of counsel fees.
Graf v. Genovese and Massaro, Inc., 1 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 129, 59 CRD-3-81 (July 13, 1982).
Remanded for further proceeding to determine what attorney’s fees and interests should be permitted where appeal approached the unreasonable.