[Formerly Sec. 31-308(b) and Sec. 31-308(d)]
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.
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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.
Shults v. D.J. Hall Roofing, LLC, 6071 CRB-5-16-1 (January 13, 2017).
Trial commissioner determined claimant sustained repetitive trauma injury subsequent to an accidental injury and ordered an insurance carrier to pay additional permanency benefits and administer file. Carrier appealed to CRB, asserting that in absence of an identified date of injury liability could not be assessed. CRB determined date of last exposure was essential element of a repetitive trauma injury and remanded matter to ascertain this date for jurisdictional purposes. See also, Shults, § 31-275(1); § 31-275(16); § 31-299b; § 31-301 Factual findings.
Brennan v. Waterbury, 6065 CRB-5-15-12 & 5996 CRB-5-15-3 (October 31, 2016), appeal pending AC 39819.
Trial commissioner granted motion to substitute widow of original claimant as claimant as the executrix of his estate and directed unpaid balance of the permanent partial disability award to be paid to the estate. City appealed arguing that pursuant to Morgan v. East Haven, 208 Conn. 576 (1988) an estate is not a legally qualified recipient of funds from an award under § 7-433c C.G.S. Claimant argued subsequent legislative amendments overruled Morgan. CRB concluded that they did not and that as Morgan was still good law matter must be remanded to ascertain appropriate beneficiaries under statute. City also challenged the substance of the permanency award but CRB found trial commissioner justified reliance on a medical opinion he found persuasive. CRB also remanded for calculation of benefits. See also, Brennan, § 7-433c; § 31-275(19).
Tedesco v. City of Bridgeport — Board of Education, 6054 CRB-4-15-11 (September 14, 2016).
Claimant was longtime teacher’s aide who asserted her current medical condition and need for treatment was due to three injuries sustained at work. Respondents challenged claimant as poor historian and argued alleged discrepancies in her medical evidence rendered them unreliable, citing DiNuzzo v. Dan Perkins Chevrolet Geo, Inc., 294 Conn. 132 (2009) and Jones v. Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Faculty Practice Plan, 131 Conn. 415 (2011). Trial commissioner awarded benefits and respondents appealed. CRB affirmed decision. Trier of fact found claimant a credible witness. Totality of factors standard enunciated in Estate of Haburey v. Winchester, 150 Conn. App. 699 (2014), cert. denied, 312 Conn. 922 (2014) and Marandino v. Prometheus Pharmacy, 294 Conn. 564 (2010) met by the claimant. See also, Tedesco, § 31-275 (1); § 31-294d; § 31-301 Factual findings.
Sanchez v. Edson Manufacturing, 5980 CRB-6-15-1 (October 6, 2015).
Claimant argued most recent of three injuries was responsible for current disability. Trial commissioner did not accept this position. CRB affirmed on appeal. See also, Sanchez, § 31-275(1); § 31-294d; § 31-294f; § 31-298; § 31-301 Factual findings.
Pisaturo v. Logistec, USA, Inc., 5979 CRB-3-14-12 (September 23, 2015).
Claimant appealed trier’s permanency award on basis that (1) trier erroneously admitted and relied upon expert opinion offered by out of state RME doctor and (2) adopted a permanent partial disability rating to left eye predicated on AMA Guides without a recalibration reflecting provisions of § 31-308(b) C.G.S. CRB, citing Tartaglino v. Dept. of Correction, 55 Conn. App. 190, cert. denied, 251 Conn. 929 (1999), affirmed trier’s decision to accept out-of-state opinion, noting that RME doctor testified that diagnostic records and objective measurements upon which he relied were comprehensive and record indicated treating physician had utilized same measurements in arriving at his permanency assessment. However, CRB reversed and remanded permanency award, noting that evidentiary record did not provide basis for trier’s inference that a 7.5% impairment rating to the visual system pursuant to AMA Guides could be directly translated into a 7.5% impairment rating to left eye as contemplated by § 31-308(b) C.G.S. See also, Pisaturo, § 31-301. Factual Findings.
Scanlon v. Finkle & Sons Service Co., Inc., 5963 CRB-3-14-10 (July 22, 2015).
Claimant sustained compensable injury and reached stipulation on permanent partial benefits, including injury to arms, leaving shoulder injury “open.” Claimant’s treater found permanent impairment to shoulder and attributed an impairment rating to the arm. Claimant sought award including shoulder injury and argued that this rating should be cumulative to prior arm award, but trial commissioner credited prior rating in determining new permanency award. Claimant appealed, but CRB found trial commissioner could reasonably reach this conclusion, citing Safford v. Owens Brockway, 262 Conn. 526 (2003).
Czyrko v. State/UConn Health Center, 5901 CRB-6-13-12 (December 4, 2014).
Claimant asserted that her compensation rate for permanent partial disability should be set as of the date of incapacity, and not the date of injury; citing § 31-307b. Trial commissioner applied date of injury standard and CRB affirmed; citing plain meaning of statutes such as § 31-308(b) and § 31-310. See also, Czyrko, § 31-307(b); § 31-310.
Rock v. State/University of Connecticut, 5891 CRB-2-13-10 (October 16, 2014).
Claimant is the estate of the decedent and appealed from a ruling on a Motion to Dismiss. CRB reversed on issue of jurisdiction and remanded matter for further proceedings, but noted that as there was no claim brought during the claimant’s lifetime there could be no pending yet unpaid permanency award, distinguishing case from Churchville v. Bruce R. Daly Mechanical Contractor, 299 Conn. 185 (2010). See also, Rock, § 31-294c; § 31-306; § 31-307; § 31-308(d).
Aylward v. City of Bristol/Board of Education, 5756 CRB-6-12-5 (May 15, 2013).
Claimant sustained three compensable back injuries while employed by respondent. Following formal hearing trial commissioner determined claimant reached maximum medical improvement and found one physician was credible and persuasive who found a 15% permanency rating. Trial commissioner, however, rejected this expert’s finding additional disability after initial injury was due to repetitive trauma; finding the two subsequent accidental injuries each responsible for 5% of the award. On appeal, CRB ordered remand. Trial commissioner failed to identify what probative evidence would support this apportionment of the award. Precedent Safford v. Owens Brockway, 262 Conn. 526 (2003); Risola v. Hoffman Fuel Company of Danbury, 5120 CRB-7-06-8 (July 20, 2007) and Bazelais v. Honey Hill Care Center, 5011 CRB-7-05-10 (October 25, 2006) requires the trial commissioner to award relief consistent with evidence on record and identify that evidence. See also, Aylward, § 31-294d; § 31-301 Factual findings; § 31-307; § 31-310.
Hubbard v. University of Connecticut Health Center, 5705 CRB-6-11-12 (November 30, 2012).
Claimant challenged basis of permanent partial disability award and appealed trier’s denial of compensability and temporary total disability benefits. CRB remanded for additional findings. Medical report on which trier relied for permanent partial disability award attributed permanent partial disability to condition trier had found non-compensable. Trier determined that claimant provided no evidence of causation for osteoarthritis but record contained two reports which supported causation and trier’s findings did not specifically address reports’ evidentiary weight. Commissioner’s Examination report on which trier based decision to deny temporary total disability benefits was ambiguous. Denial of claimant’s Motion to Correct constituted error. See also, Hubbard, § 31-275(1); § 31-301 Factual findings; § 31-301-4; § 31-307; § 31-308(b); § 31-349.
Kakabadze v. JC Penney Catalog Distribution Center, 5707 CRB-8-11-12 (November 26, 2012).
Claimant argued that trial commissioner did not sufficiently compensate him for permanent partial disability to finger injuries. Trial commissioner awarded benefits as based to disability of claimant’s entire hand. Claimant argued that evidence supported finding that he should have been awarded 90% disability on each injured finger. CRB found medical evidence did not support that conclusion. Precedent in Garcia v. John Bianchi d/b/a Complete Change Landscaping Tree Removal and Excavating Company, 4670 CRB-5-03-5 (May 3, 2004) and Smith v. John’s Tree Service, 4272 CRB-3-00-7 (June 19, 2001) supports commissioner’s decision. See also, Kakabadze, § 31-301 Appeal procedure.
Martinez-McCord v. State/Judicial Branch, 5647 CRB-7-11-4 (August 1, 2012).
Claimant appealed from denial of claim for temporary total disability benefits from alleged RSD ailment. CRB upheld Finding and dismissal on this issue, but did not disturb permanent partial disability award. See also, Martinez-McCord, § 31-294f; § 31-298; § 31-301 Factual findings; § 31-307; § 31-278.
Perun v. City of Danbury, 5650 CRB-7-11-05 (May 3, 2012).
Claimant had received Finding and Award determining that a 2007 injury was a new compensable injury. In that decision, the trial commissioner found the claimant’s treater credible and did not rely on respondent’s expert witness. After hearing on level of permanent disability, another trial commissioner did not find the treater credible and determined respondent’s expert was persuasive on level of permanent impairment. Claimant appealed asserting initial trial commissioner decision as to witness credibility controlled all further proceedings. CRB upheld Finding. Trial commissioner could find a witness credible on one issue and not another. Trial commissioner adequately explained her rationale for not relying on treating physician. In addition, CRB upheld commissioner decision present employer responsible for entire permanency award; no prior award was “paid or payable” to the claimant. See also, Perun, § 31-301 Factual findings; § 31-298; § 31-349.
Sullins v. United Parcel Service, 5611 CRB-01-10-12 (January 6, 2012).
Trial commissioner apportioned level of permanent partial disability between earlier compensable accident and unrelated medical condition. Claimant argued this inconsistent with precedent in Deschenes v. Transco, Inc., 288 Conn. 303 (2008). CRB upheld decision. Physician whom trial commissioner relied on clearly differentiated between causation of claimant’s condition. Deschenes addresses this scenario. Claimant’s reliance on cases such as Levanti v. Dow Chemical Co., 218 Conn. 9 (1991) unpersuasive given facts on record.
Gelinas v. P & M Mason Contractors, Inc., 5567 CRB-8-10-6 (June 7, 2011).
Claimant injured on job and was terminated after doing light duty work. Trial commissioner awarded 10% permanent partial disability rating as only rating on record reaching this conclusion. Claimant appealed and CRB upheld trial commissioner. See also, Gelinas, § 31-301 Factual findings; § 31-308(a); § 31-301-9.
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. CRB upheld award. CRB concluded that as further AZ actions were required to perfect claimant’s rights, award was not “payable” under reading of CT statute and precedent. See also, Francis, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-300, § 31-349.
Ouelette v. New England Masonry Company, 5424 CRB-7-09-2 (January 14, 2010).
Claimant with prior permanency injured again with increase of disability rating to 32.5%. Claimant argued that while prior stipulation referenced 20% rating, he had received payment only equal to 11.25%, which he maintained should be respondent’s credit. Trial commissioner found credit in stipulation was for 20%. CRB upheld on appeal. Stipulation stated it was in full settlement of claimant’s permanency award; respondents entitled to credit against what was “payable” at that time. See also, Ouelette, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-308a, § 31-349.
Gibson v. State/Department of Developmental Services-North Region, 5422 CRB-2-09-2 (January 13, 2010).
Respondent-Appellant sought to obtain repayment of alleged overpayment of award for permanent partial disability paid to claimant in late 1980’s. Trial commissioner found respondent’s witness unpersuasive on this point and denied repayment. CRB upheld this decision, record indicated commissioner’s decision was reasonable. See also, Gibson, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-301-9, § 31-315.
Mehan v. Stamford, 5389 CRB-7-08-10 (October 14, 2009).
Respondents argued that even though preclusion entered in this case, claimant’s evidence did not establish prima facia case he had suffered permanent disability from workplace injury. CRB upheld trial commissioner; claimant presented probative expert testimony on this point. See also, Mehan, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-294c, § 31-321.
Sierra v. C & S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., 5370 CRB-1-08-8 (September 23, 2009).
Claimant injured in fork lift accident, suffered injuries to abdominal wall and to spine. Claimant argued that injuries to abdomen should be applied to permanency rating to spine, and relied on opinion of treating physician who asserted 50% disability rating. Respondent’s expert opined disability rating at 8%. Trial commissioner found respondent’s expert more credible. Claimant appealed, asserting commissioner did not properly apply precdent in Barton v. Ducci Electrical Contractors, Inc., 248 Conn. 793 (1999). CRB upheld trial commissioner; claimant had burden of persuading the trial commissioner that the injury he sustained to his abdomen acted to increase the disability level of his spine. Record demonstrates commissioner could have determined claimant’s expert’s testimony had deficiencies and decided respondent’s expert offered more persuasive evidence on this issue. Claimant’s interpretation of statute rejected in the Barton decision. See also, Sierra, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-307.
Churchville v. Bruce R. Daly Mechanical Contractor, 5365 CRB-8-08-8 (August 4, 2009).
Following trial de novo on contested Form 36, trial commissioner awarded permanency benefits to claimant’s estate with credit to respondents for temporary total payments since filing date of Form 36. Respondents appealed, contending, per McCurdy v. State, 227 Conn. 261 (1993), permanency benefits do not vest until claimant affirmatively requests them and disputing trier’s determination that a settlement proposal provided to respondents prior to claimant’s death constituted a sufficient “affirmative request” per McCurdy. Respondents also challenged trier’s findings as to extent of impairment to claimant’s lumbar spine. Claimant’s spouse filed cross appeal contending permanency award should have been made directly to her. CRB affirmed trier’s decision on basis that litigation of Form 36 commenced before claimant’s death and findings made by trier at trial de novo relative to claimant’s work capacity, date of maximum medical improvement and permanency ratings were supported by medical reports in record. CRB rejected respondents’ interpretation of McCurdy relative to vesting of permanency benefits, noting McCurdy states such awards vest when claimant reaches maximum medical improvement but trier retains discretion, per Osterlund v. State, 129 Conn. 591 (1943), to continue temporary total benefits beyond date of maximum medical improvement unless claimant specifically requests payment of permanency award. CRB also affirmed trier’s findings regarding extent of impairment but remanded for additional investigation into the appropriate recipient of award as § 31 308(d) C.G.S. does not provide for payment of permanency benefits to a deceased claimant’s estate and record was silent as to whether trier had determined if Margery Churchville was claimant’s spouse or presumptive dependent. DISSENT (Schoolcraft): Disagreed with scope of remand because Margery Churchville failed to carry burden of proof at trial that she was decedent’s spouse and therefore should not be allowed another opportunity to re-litigate her claim. See also, Churchville, § 31 275 (19), § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-307, § 31-308(d).
Alvarez v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 5378 CRB-5-08-9 (July 27, 2009).
Claimant suffered prior injury in former employer and executed stipulation for lump sum that did not specify level of disability. Claimant later injured worked for Wal-Mart. Respondent argued that claimant had previously been paid for portion of present disability and appealed award. CRB upheld trial commissioner. Prior stipulation did not set disability level. Any effort to presume some portion of sum paid on stipulation was against disability would be speculative; case distinguished from Johnson v. Manchester Bus Service, Inc., 3472 CRB -01-96-11 (April 1, 1998). See also Alvarez, § 31-294f, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-349.
Syzmaszek v. Meriden, 5346 CRB-6-08-5 (April 2, 2009).
Claimant had received temporary total disability benefits as a result of compensable injury. Parties stipulated that claimant had permanency rating. Upon claimant’s death, respondent credited amount of temporary total disability paid to claimant against the unpaid permanent partial disability rating due the claimant’s heirs. As temporary total disability benefits already paid exceeded the permanent partial award due, respondent cited Garland Hall v. Gilbert & Bennett Mfg. Co., 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Ops. 146 (1994) for position no benefits were now due. Trail commissioner agreed Garland Hall was controlling precedent, and denied claim for permanency benefits. Claimant’s estate appealed, claiming decision in Cappellino v. Cheshire, 226 Conn. 569 (1993) required permanency to be paid. CRB upheld trial commissioner; Garland Hall must be given force of stare decisis.
Wright-Khan v. People’s Bank, 5218 CRB-3-07-4 (March 27, 2008).
CRB affirmed trial commissioner’s conclusion that claimant’s alleged brain injury due to emotional trauma was not compensable as claimant failed to assert a physical injury in her notices of claim. Additionally, claimant did not sustain her burden of proof that she suffered an increase in the permanent partial disability to her knee or suffered increased vision impairment as a result of work related activities. See also, Wright-Kahn, § 31-275(16).
Green v. General Motors Corporation New Departure, 5111 CRB-6-06-7 (August 21, 2007).
Claimant had suffered compensable injuries to each knee in 1990. Respondents filed Form 36 to discontinue temporary partial disability payments and award a permanent partial disability award. Respondents contested the request, asserting claimant was totally disabled as per Osterlund trial commissioner found claimant reached maximum medical improvement and approved Form 36. He found claimant had capacity to work but was not willing to work. He awarded a 20% permanent partial disability for each knee. Claimant appealed. CRB upheld findings on Form 36 and on total disability claim, claimant’s effort to add additional evidence barred as per Schreiber v. Town & Country Auto Service, 4239 CRB-3-00-5 (June 15, 2001). CRB remanded on issue of permanency rating, expert witness had changed his opinions after viewing surveillance tape and percentage awarded by trial commissioner inconsistent with expert’s testimony either before or after viewing the tape. See also Green, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-301. Appeal procedure.
Kronick v. Ansonia Copper & Brass, 5127 CRB-5-06-8 (August 15, 2007).
Claimant suffered aggravation of pre-existing lung ailment at work. Trial commissioner awarded claimant permanency rating based on entire level of disability, rejecting respondent’s argument they should only be obligated for the aggravation suffered at work. CRB upheld. Sec. 31-275(1)(D) C.G.S. only governs apportionment when a previous work related ailment is aggravated. (Mastropietro, C., CONCURRING) Respondents’ appeal is based on overturning precedent in Cashman v. McTernan School, 130 Conn. 401 (1943). Stare decisis and the doctrine of legislative acquiescence preclude the CRB from taking this action, as amending statutes is the role of the legislative branch. See Hanson v. Transportation General, Inc., 245 Conn. 613 (1998). See also Kronick, § 31-275(1) C.G.S.
Risola v. Hoffman Fuel Company of Danbury, 5120 CRB-7-06-8 (July 20, 2007), dismissed for lack of final judgment, A.C. 29056 (October 18, 2007).
Trial commissioner awarded permanency benefits and relied on old rating from treating physician. Claimant appealed, asserting that doctor had changed his opinion on permanency rating. CRB remanded matter. While a trial commissioner can choose which opinions of a physician she relies on, it is untenable to rely on opinions that have been abandoned by an expert witness in the absence of any other supportive evidence or explanation for disregarding the subsequent opinion. See also, Risola, § 31-301. Appeal procedure.
Esposito v. New Haven, 5096 CRB-3-06-5 (June 19, 2007).
Claimant had obtained specific award under § 31-308(b), trial commissioner awarded temporary partial benefits after claimant had additional surgery and had not reached new level of maximum medical improvement. Respondents appealed. CRB upheld trial commissioner. See also, Esposito, § 31-308(a).
Miller v. Hopkins School, 5084 CRB-3-06-4 (June 18, 2007).
See, Miller, § 31-296. Voluntary agreements (discontinuance of payments)(previously paid temporary partial disability benefits could not be reclassified as permanency benefits without enforceable agreement or approved Form 36).
Bond v. Monroe Group, LLC, 5093 CRB-3-06-5 (May 3, 2007).
Pro Se claimant appealed denial of claim for permanent partial benefits .CRB upheld trial commissioner. Case is similar to Dudley v. Radio Frequency Systems, 4995 CRB-8-05-9 (July 17, 2006). CRB must review findings solely to determine if they are supported by evidence. While claimant’s current doctor found permanent disability, his original treating physician did not. Trial commissioner is permitted to determine which expert to credit when reaching his findings, thus CRB dismissed appeal. See also, Bond, § 31-294d, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-307, § 31-308(a).
Hernandez v. American Truck Rental, 5083 CRB-7-06-4 (April 19, 2007).
Trial commissioner should have awarded interest on unpaid permanency award. See also Hernandez, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-307, § 31-288(c), § 31-295(c).
Berube v. Tim’s Painting, 5068 CRB 3-06-3 (March 13, 2007).
Treating physician provided report at hearing opining as to claimant’s permanency rating from back injury. As respondents did not depose doctor or have him testify at the hearing, trial commissioner permitted to rely on his opinion. Trial commissioner’s omission of reliance on report in text of Finding and Award not erroneous, see Keenan v. Union Camp Corp., 49 Conn. App. 280, 285 (1998). See also, Berube § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-307.
Marra v. Ann Taylor Stores Corp., 5027 CRB-3-05-11 (December 29, 2006).
Claimant may be temporarily totally disabled and permanently partially disabled at same time, but he cannot collect both benefits at same time. Awards must be made concurrently. Temporary total benefits must end before claimant can receive increased permanency award. See also, Marra, § 31-294d, § 31-300, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-307.
Sullo v. State/Judicial Branch, 4796 CRB-1-04-3, 4831 CRB-1-04-7, 4978 CRB-1-05-7 (September 8, 2006).
Following Joint Motion to Reargue, CRB accepted parties’ stipulation that surviving spouse was a dependent under Act, making her entitled to payment of deceased claimant’s permanency award. [See, Ruling on Joint Motion to Reargue issued October 23, 2006.] Original holding was thus amended. Remainder of holding stays in force: where claimant’s counsel sought permanency benefits as alternative to total disability at formal hearing, board construed statement as request for permanency benefits, thus vesting right to collect. Trier failed to make finding of maximum medical improvement date in awarding 20% permanency of heart, holding issue open in event treating physician’s whole person rating translates to greater permanency. This technical error was harmless under circumstances of case, as all medical reports show claimant reached maximum improvement within two months of compensable incident. See also, Sullo, § 31-275(1), § 31-275(16), § 31-301(f).
Daddona v. Waterbury Masonry and Foundation, Inc., 4897 CRB-5-04-12 (December 8, 2005).
CRB affirmed trial commissioner’s permanent partial disability award for claimant’s loss of use of 50% of left shoulder, and denial of total disability. Where evidence is conflicting trier determines the weight and credibility of the evidence and derives conclusion from same. Also, claimant’s refusal to undergo a second shoulder surgery was not an unreasonable refusal to seek medical care. See also, Daddona, § 31-294e, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-307.
Wilcox v. Danbury Hospital, 4838 CRB-7-04-8 (October 17, 2005).
See, Wilcox, § 31-301. Factual findings (no permanent partial impairment of vision found despite reported symptoms of convergence insufficiency and double vision, based on opinion and test results of respondent’s examiner). See also, Wilcox, § 31-301-4.
Sellers v. Sellers Garage, Inc., 4762 CRB-5-03-12 (February 3, 2005), aff’d, 92 Conn. App. 650 (2005).
CRB affirmed trial commissioner’s denial of claim for 50% permanent partial disability to brain. Trier gave greater weight to opinion of neurologist than opinion of claimant’s treating physician for pain management. Additionally, treating physician’s opinion failed to reference objective criteria and their application to his analysis of claimant’s impairment rating. Subsequent decision at Sellers, 4807 CRB-5-04-5 (March 3, 2005), aff’d, 92 Conn. App. 683 (2005). Prior decision at Sellers, 4391 CRB-5-01-5 (April 26, 2002), aff’d, 80 Conn. App. 15 (2003), cert. denied, 267 Conn. 904 (2003).
Dobson v. Thames Valley Sanitation, 4645 CRB-6-03-3 (July 22, 2004).
CRB affirmed trial commissioner’s award of 35% loss of use of knee. Also held respondents not entitled to apportionment under § 31-275(1)(D) as the 26.25% loss of use of the knee related to a pre-exiting injury and under Cashman v. McTiernan School, Inc., 130 Conn. 401 (1943) apportionment only permitted where the pre-existing disease is a pre-existing occupational disease. See also, Dobson, § 31-300.
Maddaloni v. State/University of Connecticut, 4679 CRB-2-03-6 (June 4, 2004).
Claimant has burden to prove eligibility for § 31-308(b) benefits. The determination of maximum medical improvement date is within the province of the trial commissioner. See also, Maddaloni, § 31-295.
Bowee v. Comcast Cablevision, 4604 CRB-3-03-1 (May 12, 2004).
CRB affirmed trier’s determination to award a proportional part of maximum weeks for injured coccyx not actually removed. See also, Bowee, § 31-301. Factual findings.
Garcia v. John Bianchi d/b/a Complete Change Landscaping Tree Removal and Excavating Company, 4670 CRB-5-03-5 (May 3, 2004).
Second Injury Fund appealed from the commissioner’s permanent partial award for the 22% loss of use of his non-master hand. Fund claimed award was limited by law to a 50% loss of use of the small finger and 27% loss of use of the ring finger. CRB held trial commissioner may take into account the impact of the loss of use of the fingers on the claimant’s use of the whole hand. See also, Garcia, § 31-307.
Schenkel v. Richard Chevrolet, Inc., 4639 CRB-8-03-3 (March 12, 2004).
Trier was entitled to find treating physician’s opinion regarding percentage of permanency more persuasive than that of respondent’s examiner. However, remand was necessary to clarify degree of accountability of earlier compensable injury for subsequent disability, where trier relied on opinions of a treating physician who stated that claimant’s lumbar fusion surgery was more due to effects of original L4-L5 work injury than it was to subsequent compensable L5-S1 injury. If permanency is apportionable among compensable injuries, the issue must be addressed by trial commissioner. Remanded to resolve inconsistent findings. See also, Schenkel, § 31-294d, § 31-295(c), § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-307, § 31-308(b); Schenkel, § 31-349.
Krol v. A.V. Tuchy, Inc., 4613 CRB-4-03-1 (January 29, 2004), aff’d, 90 Conn. App. 346 (2005).
Trier determined that claimant had reached maximum medical improvement (combined) of back and knee as of February 28, 2000, with back having reached that status as of July 27, 1999. Affirmed. Medical reports supported these findings. Trier was not required to credit a different doctor’s opinion that synergistic effect of back and knee injuries prevented claimant from reaching maximum medical improvement until TLSO brace was obtained and Synvisc injections had ceased. See also, Krol, § 31-296. Voluntary agreements (discontinuance of payments).
Strong v. UTC/Pratt & Whitney, 4563 CRB-1-02-8 (August 25, 2003).
Where claimant qualified for “Class 3” impairment under AMA guidelines, trier was within his authority to credit report of doctor that awarded claimant 48% permanency rating of lungs, even though some evidence existed that could have supported a lower rating. Doctor’s diagnosis was not medically unreasonable. See also, Strong, § 31-275(1)(no apportionment allowed for portion of disability due to pre-existing emphysema that was not work-related, even if condition developed simultaneously with work-related asbestosis), § 31-275(15); § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-349.
Landry v. Light Metals Coloring Co., 4514 CRB-6-02-4 (April 3, 2003).
CRB affirmed trier’s dismissal of permanency claim. Doctor’s 15% rating was not based on any ascertainable methodology; rather, he admittedly “picked a number” that sounded relatively low to him. Further, trier had discretion to disregard doctor’s report and deposition, despite absence of any medical report to the contrary.
Santiago v. PMI, Inc., 4513 CRB-6-02-4 (March 27, 2003).
CRB affirmed the trial commissioner’s ruling that claimant was not entitled to a permanent partial disability rating of the upper extremity where claimant suffered the loss of use of several of his fingers. In this particular instance the claimant claimed that he was entitled to a loss of use of his upper extremity due to a shoulder impairment that he claimed related to the work place accident. See also, Santiago, § 31-301. Factual findings.
Bourgeois v. Meadow Lawn Care, 4463 CRB-6-01-11 (November 18, 2002).
Trier’s conclusion claimant sustained a 35.7% loss to his left ear reversed and remanded where treating physician’s opinion was that claimant sustained a 35.7% overall hearing loss. See also, Bourgeois, § 31-301. Factual findings.
Napolitano v. Bridgeport, 4388 CRB-4-01-5 (September 6, 2002).
Medical opinions supported finding that claimant was not entitled to 35% impairment rating, despite treater’s testimony that he suffered from moderate ventricular hypertrophy and deserved “Class 3” rating as per AMA Guides to Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. Other methods of diagnosing permanency may also be used, and both independent medical examiner and commissioner’s examiner questioned existence and origin of ventricular hypertrophy. See also, Napolitano, § 31-278, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-301-9.
Fuessenich v. Dept. of Public Safety/State Police, 4416 CRB-1-01-7 (June 21, 2002).
No error in trier’s reliance on doctor’s diagnosis of 20% permanent impairment to heart. Doctor adequately explained basis of his opinion that other parts of heart had increased blood-pumping activity to compensate for death of part of heart muscle, despite normal blood output of organ as whole. Case distinguished from Barton v. Ducci Electrical Contractors, Inc., 4374 CRB-6-01-4, infra. See also, Fuessenich, § 31-307, § 29-4a.
Donlin v. Cytec Industries, Inc., 4415 CRB-7-01-7 (June 5, 2002), aff’d, 77 Conn. App. 903 (2003)(per curiam).
Board affirmed trier’s denial of “whole person”-based permanency rating, and advised that claimant may request permanency when physician rates scheduled body part under § 31-308(b). See also, Donlin, § 31-301-9.
Barton v. Ducci Electrical Contractors, Inc., 4374 CRB-6-01-4 (March 25, 2002).
Following Supreme Court decision in Barton, 248 Conn. 793 (1999), which held § 31-308(b) constitutional, claimant sought compensation for permanent partial impairment to skin insofar as it caused permanent loss of or loss of use of several scheduled body parts. CRB held that this action was not precluded by doctrine of res judicata, as law did not clearly provide this route to compensation prior to Supreme Court ruling. However, CRB reversed trier’s award of 20% permanency to five scheduled body parts, as treating dermatologist had simply extrapolated 20% permanency rating of skin to each of those body parts, rather than evaluating overall remaining function of said parts in light of skin damage. Rating was not given within reasonable degree of medical probability. Remanded. Prior decision at Barton, 3569 CRB-8-97-3 (March 26, 1998), § 31-308(b) (constitutional issue certified to Appellate Court, and later to Supreme Court).
Safford v. Owens Brockaway, 4335 CRB-4-00-12 (January 9, 2002), rev’d, 262 Conn. 526 (2003).
No error in awarding claimant 20% permanent partial impairment of upper arm where doctor’s accepted opinion prescribed 20% permanency of shoulder. Trier is not required to use AMA formula in converting shoulder disability to arm disability. Evidence offered alternate method of converting rotator cuff repair to upper extremity impairment, and contained reports suggesting claimant’s surgery results were not optimal, as she continued to have pain. (Metro, C., DISSENTING)(doctor’s subsequent letter was clearly intended to clarify disability rating as being 12% rather than 20%). Supreme Court reversed, holding that there was no competent medical evidence in record to establish a 20% permanency rating, and that trier erred by substituting his own opinion for that of medical experts.
Rayhall v. Akim Co., Inc., 4321 CRB-2-00-12 (November 5, 2001), aff’d, 263 Conn. 328 (2003).
See, Rayhall, § 31-278, § 31-295 (temporary partial disability benefits payable until multiple injured body parts all reach maximum medical improvement), § 31-298, § 31-307.
Collins v. Bridgeport, 4241 CRB-4-00-5 (June 21, 2001).
Trier decided not to retroactively apply P.A. 89-346, which made permanency benefits payable to children of decedent in equal shares absent surviving spouse or dependents. Affirmed. Date of injury rule applicable to § 31-308(d), as its enactment constituted substantive change in law. See also, Collins, § 31-306.
Smith v. John’s Tree Service, 4272 CRB-3-00-7 (June 19, 2001).
CRB affirmed trier’s award of 17% permanency to hand where claimant lost parts of two fingers in woodcutting accident. Doctor’s report would have medically supported award for hand permanency or award for permanency to individual fingers. Trier not precluded from taking into account impact of finger loss on whole hand by virtue of § 31-308(b)’s specific remedy for lost phalanges of individual fingers. If logical relationship exists between body parts, impact of single injury on multiple parts may be considered, with duplicate compensation for interrelated body parts (such as fingers and hand) being offset.
Stonkus v. Foster Wheeler, 4194 CRB-4-00-2 (May 1, 2001).
CRB affirmed award of 10% permanent partial disability to lumbar spine. See also, Stonkus, § 31-279-9.
Faroni v. Country Club of Waterbury, 4175 CRB-5-00-1 (January 25, 2001).
CRB affirmed trier’s adoption of 40% permanency rating by § 31-294f examiner despite claimant’s assertion that basis for rating was unclear. Fact-finder’s discretion to gauge credibility of experts allowed him to disregard opinion of treating physician, while examiner’s opinion had been given within reasonable degree of medical probability. Claimant did not subpoena this doctor for cross-examination on witness stand, and CRB was in no position to judge accuracy of his opinion by independently applying AMA guidelines to complex injury involving several discrete body parts. See also, Faroni, § 31-294f.
Morin v. Miller Company, 4164 CRB-8-99-12 (December 19, 2000).
CRB affirmed trier’s adoption of physician’s permanent partial impairment rating for hearing loss, which was based on AMA guidelines. Board held that AMA formula does not, as a matter of law, impermissibly exclude actual hearing loss from its disability calculation. Based on the evidence before her, trier reasonably ruled that this formula, which is designed to determine hearing-loss handicap based on ability to perceive frequencies of normal speech, is the best means of calculating a claimant’s loss of use of hearing function under the workers’ compensation statute. CRB cannot reverse such a factual determination.
Ford v. Carpenter Chapman, 4128 CRB-3-99-9 (November 30, 2000).
At request of both parties, CRB remanded case to trial commissioner for further findings on issue of claimant’s entitlement to permanency benefits for injury to his abdominal wall, which is not explicitly listed in the statutory tables. See also, Ford, § 31-294d, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-308(a).
Sharkey v. Stamford, 4068 CRB-7-99-6 (November 17, 2000).
Trial commissioner properly concluded that claimant’s heart disease constituted a compensable injury under § 7-433c, and that a prior permanent partial award of 4.5% of the heart (for hypertension) had to be deducted from the 37% permanent partial impairment in order to prevent a double recovery. CRB explained that, in order to prevent double recovery, § 31-349(a) has consistently been applied by deducting from a permanency award any compensation paid or payable due to a prior permanent partial impairment of the same body part. See also, Sharkey, § 31-300, § 31-349.
Boccuzzi v. Norwalk Courtyard Marriott, 4123 CRB-7-99-9 (October 11, 2000).
Trier found that claimant’s low back condition (including possible need for surgery) was caused by his compensable injury, but that he had not yet reached maximum medical improvement. Trier ordered claimant to return to an IME physician regarding whether his need for surgery was caused by the compensable injury, noting that causation “shall not be an issue” for the IME doctor to address. In their appeal, respondents contended that said restriction improperly limited their ability to litigate whether any of the claimant’s PPD was caused by two earlier injuries. CRB explained that a commissioner is only empowered to decide how much compensation is appropriate given the condition of the claimant at the time of the proceedings. As the claimant had not yet reached MMI, no determination regarding PPD could have been made. At some point in future, permanency may be assessed, and a physician may offer an opinion as to whether any of the PPD was due to the prior injuries.
Bilotta v. Connecticut Natural Gas Corp., 4106 CRB-1-99-8 (October 5, 2000).
CRB affirmed trier’s award of 200 weeks of discretionary benefits for a 1973 injury. Chronic pain in territory of ilioinguinal nerve and scrotum severely limited claimant’s physical activities, and was not duplicative of permanency to left leg. Trier entitled to consider “whole-person” ratings in calculating percentage of loss of organ, or loss of use of its function, even though award itself cannot be for whole-person disability. Benefit award was consistent with the law, though trier should have better articulated reasons for his findings given discretionary nature of award. See also Bilotta, § 31-300, § 31-301. Factual findings. Prior decision at Bilotta, 3536 CRB-1-97-2 (May 26, 1998), § 31-308(a), § 31-308(b).
Mahoney v. Bill Mann Tree Service, 4095 CRB-4-99-8 (August 10, 2000), aff’d, 67 Conn. App. 134 (2001).
Claimant has burden of establishing permanency rating to body part. CRB affirmed trier’s finding that, on remand, the record contained no credible evidence establishing such a percentage. See also, Mahoney, § 31-308a. Prior decision at Mahoney, 16 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 17, 3025 CRB-4-95-3 (October 4, 1996), § 31-294d, § 31-298.
Carlson v. Waste Conversion Technologies, 4035 CRB-3-99-4 (May 24, 2000).
CRB affirmed trier’s determination that claimant sustained a 45% permanent partial disability of the lungs. Respondents argued that this assessment was based upon his condition if he was not taking medication, but in fact the claimant was taking medication, which reduced his disability to 25%. Board cited Larson’s Treatise, which supports the ruling that loss of use should be judged on the basis of the uncorrected impairment. Therefore, loss of use will not be ruled out because symptoms are controlled by medication.
Garcia v. Legare Plumbing & Heat, 3856 CRB-2-98-7 (September 23, 1999).
Evidence supports 20% permanent partial impairment rating of claimant’s brain. At time of injury (1990), § 31-308(d) was applicable, as the brain was not yet a scheduled organ. Impairment of the brain has a directly proportional effect upon the function of the whole person, and trier did not err by inferring a 20% brain disability from the doctor’s report concerning the impairment of “complex integrated cerebral functions” as they affected claimant’s ability to perform daily activities. See also, Garcia, § 31-307.
Mikishka v. Meriden, 3869 CRB-8-98-7 (September 3, 1999).
CRB affirmed trier’s scarring award, and his finding that claimant suffered a compensable injury. Issue was one of credibility of witnesses, and trier believed claimant’s story over that of his co-workers. Variance among doctor, trial commissioner in description of lesion on scalp could merely indicate progression of skin condition on head. As for argument that the scar evaluation hearing was held over two years after date of injury, CRB noted that claimant requested hearings on scar over a year prior to the trier’s evaluation, and that delays were due to other parties or the demands of the system itself. See also, Mikishka, § 31-301. Factual findings. Prior decision at Mikishka v. Meriden, 16 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 178, 3574 CRB-8-97-3 (May 2, 1997).
Valentine v. State/Dept. of Correction, 3862 CRB-1-98-7 (September 3, 1999).
Trier awarded a 20% permanent partial disability of the left hip. Record indicated claimant had previously received a 16.25% permanent partial disability of the left knee. Because the knee and the hip are both considered to be the “leg” for purposes of permanency, CRB remanded issue to the trial commissioner. See also, Valentine, § 31-275(1).
Bryan v. Sheraton-Hartford Hotel, 3730 CRB-4-98-5 (May 7, 1999), rev’d, 62 Conn. App. 733 (2001).
After remand from CRB in Bryan, 3320 CRB-1-96-4 (March 12, 1997) [§ 31-301-9], trier considered the evidence presented pursuant to the remand and concluded that 10% of the claimant’s permanency was due to her compensable injury of December 1989. See also, Bryan, § 31-298.
Kluttz v. Estate of Glenn Howard, 3738 CRB-4-97-12 (February 18, 1999).
Trier properly relied on most recent medical report in setting date of maximum medical improvement, as it was the only one that unequivocally stated claimant’s condition no longer required treatment. See also, Kluttz, § 31-278. Prior decision at Kluttz, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 195, 1199 CRD-4-91-3 (November 5, 1992), aff’d, 228 Conn. 401 (1994), § 31-278, § 31-355.
Jones v. Maaco of Greater Bridgeport, 3634 CRB-4-97-4 (August 5, 1998).
See, Jones, § 31-296.
Shanklin v. UTC/CTVIP, 3537 CRB-5-97-2 (June 22, 1998).
Commissioner found that claimant had 10% permanent partial disability due to sciatica symptoms, but did not assign the disability to a specific body part. Initial compensable injury was a broken ankle, but sciatica seemed to be located in pelvic/buttocks area, and was caused by altered gait. CRB remanded case to trier to make finding as to which body part the sciaticalogical impairment affected. See also, Shanklin, § 31-301. Appeal procedure.
Ricigliano v. Rex Forge, 3476 CRB-6-96-11 (April 8, 1998), aff’d, 53 Conn. App. 158 (1999), cert. dismissed, 252 Conn. 404 (2000).
High-frequency hearing loss case where trial commissioner relied on medical opinion based on AMA formula in awarding only .62% permanent partial disability. Case was originally remanded to trier with instruction not to limit consideration to AMA guidelines. See, Ricigliano, 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 142, 2190 CRB-6-94-10 (January 18, 1996). Trier reached same decision, stating that he found the opinion of Dr. Yanagisawa more credible than that of Dr. Friedman, who advocated a 35% permanent partial disability rating based on an alternative test. Held: trier has authority to choose among conflicting medical opinions, and board must affirm his decision.
Neal v. UTC/Pratt & Whitney, 3496 CRB-1-96-12 (April 6, 1998).
Claimant suffered from dermatitis on hands due to exposure to chemicals at workplace. Respondents contended that trial commissioner erred by awarding § 31-308(d) benefits for permanent partial impairment in addition to a previous award for disfigurement of the same body part. CRB found that awards for both disfigurement and permanent partial disability to same body part do not constitute double compensation. However, trial commissioner’s findings did not specify the exact basis for this award, so the case was remanded for further findings.
Johnson v. Manchester Bus Service, Inc., 3472 CRB-1-96-11 (April 1, 1998).
Trial commissioner awarded a 15% permanent partial disability of the back. CRB remanded in order for determination of permanent impairment caused by claimant’s prior work-related injury in another state. Even if prior impairment was not paid, it was “payable” pursuant to § 31-349 and thus must be subtracted from resulting permanency. Subsequent decision at Johnson, 3863 CRB-1-98-8 (August 5, 1998), § 31- 301 Appeal procedure.
Barton v. Ducci Electric, 3569 CRB-8-97-3 (March 26, 1998), 248 Conn. 793 (1999).
CRB reserved the following issue to the Appellate Court pursuant to § 31-324: Whether § 31-308(b) deprives claimants of equal protection or due process of law by providing permanent partial disability benefits for some, but not all, organs and body parts? In Barton v. Ducci Electrical Contractors, Inc., 248 Conn. 793 (1999), the state Supreme Court held that § 31-308(b) as amended by P.A. 93-228 does not violate the equal protection clause of either the United States constitution or the state constitution. The court declined to address the issue of due process because it was not adequately briefed by the parties. The claimant had been burned in a fire and sought permanent partial disability benefits for the injury to his skin. The court held that § 31-308(b) as amended by P.A. 93-228 does not provide a trial commissioner with discretion to award permanent partial disability of an unscheduled body part. (Berdon, J., DISSENTING IN PART). Justice Berdon noted that the claimant’s burns were severe and left him permanently disabled, yet the trial commissioner did not compensate him for his skin injuries because the skin is not listed as a scheduled body part. Justice Berdon opined that under the majority’s decision, the claimant’s skin injuries are compensable, even though the skin is not specifically enumerated under § 31-308(b), to the extent that his burn injury is “related to the loss of or loss of use of a scheduled body part or member, i.e., the portions of the plaintiff’s body covered by the injured skin.” (fn. 14) (internal quotations omitted). Subsequent decision at Barton, 4374 CRB-6-01-4 (March 25, 2002), § 31-308(b).
Schilling v. New Departure-Hyatt Division, 3290 CRB-6-96-3 (August 4, 1997).
Claimant suffered high-frequency hearing losses from workplace exposure. Pursuant to AMA formula, which trier followed, claimant suffered no permanent hearing loss entitling him to permanent partial disability benefits. Majority held that the decision should be affirmed. The only permanent partial disability diagnosis given in the record is the zero percent one based on the AMA guidelines. No alternative test and permanent partial disability rating was offered into evidence by the claimant, even though the doctors acknowledged the limitations of the AMA formula and agreed that the claimant had suffered significant hearing loss above 2000 Hz. (Vargas, C., DISSENTING) AMA formula fails to compensate claimant for actual loss that is included in § 31-308. Such a result is unreasonable given the spirit of the Workers’ Compensation Act. Cites with approval Ricigliano v. Rex Forge, 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 142, 2190 CRB-6-94-10 (January 18, 1996). See also, Schilling, § 31-301. Appeal procedure.
Chialastri v. Angelo’s Trucking, 16 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 239, 3256 CRB-8-96-1 (June 24, 1997).
Claimant was injured on December 19, 1990, resulting in a 28% permanent partial disability of the brain. At that time, the brain was not a scheduled organ under § 31-308; therefore, the commissioner awarded 163.8 weeks of benefits under § 31-308(d) (presumably on a scale of 585 weeks). Subsequently, the statute was amended to reduce the maximum weeks of compensation payable from 780 weeks to 520 weeks, and the brain was assigned the maximum of 520 weeks. The claimant argues that, based on that scale, his specific award should have been calculated based on a maximum of 780 weeks of compensation, and he should have received 218.4 weeks of benefits. Held: P.A. 93-228 § 19 is totally inapplicable here. Retroactive application of a statute is only appropriate when the legislature specifically expresses such an intent, or if the new statute is procedural or merely clarifies existing law. This statute had a clear substantive effect. Also, there is no evidence that the commissioner abused his discretion by basing his award on a maximum of 585 weeks of benefits rather than 780. Section 31-308(d) was general in its terms, prescribing no amount or length of any award, and making awards discretionary rather than mandatory. Award affirmed.
Bowman v. Jack’s Auto Sales, 16 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 223, 3384 CRB-1-96-7 (June 18, 1997), aff’d, 54 Conn. App. 296 (1999).
After remand, trier decided to disallow credit of 48.4 weeks against 78-week unscheduled permanency award. Reversed; both the initial award pursuant to voluntary agreement and the second, longer award were based on the effect of the claimant’s dermatitis on the use of his hands. Although the unscheduled award was permissible (1977 injury), the initial award for loss of use of hands should have been offset. See also, Bowman, § 31-308a. See subsequent decision at Bowman, 3622 CRB-8-97-6 (August 26, 1998), § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-315 and prior decision at Bowman, 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 192, 1721 CRB-1-93-5 (March 22, 1995), aff’d, 54 Conn. App. 296 (1999).
Ruiz-Dugue v. Greenwich Hospital, 16 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 208, 3267 CRB-7-96-2 (May 22, 1997).
The trial commissioner’s conclusion that claimant did not sustain a permanent partial disability due to work injury was affirmed by CRB as it was based upon the weight and credibility which the trier accorded the evidence and was fully supported by the record. See also, Ruiz-Dugue, § 31-307.
Marchand v. UTC/Pratt & Whitney, 3135 CRB-6-95-8 (January 22, 1997).
CRB held that a trial commissioner’s permanent partial disability assessment cannot merely be the average of several medical opinions, but must be supported by at least one medical opinion.
Uttenweiler v. General Dynamics Corporation/Electric Boat Division, 3110 CRB-8-95-6 (January 8, 1997).
CRB reversed trial commissioner’s award of 22% permanency rating. CRB held that a permanent partial disability assessment cannot merely be the average of several medical opinions, but must be supported by at least one medical opinion. See also, Uttenweiler, § 31-294c.
Squitieri v. Mariano Cardillo & Sons, 3084 CRB-7-95-6 (January 6, 1997).
The trial commissioner determined that the decedent’s dependent widow was entitled to receive permanent partial disability benefits pursuant to § 31-308(d). The respondents contend on appeal that the trial commissioner improperly concluded that the decedent had made a request for permanent partial disability benefits prior to his death. CRB reversed the trial commissioner’s decision. CRB explained that the commissioner’s determination that the entitlement to permanent partial disability benefits vested prior to the decedent’s death was in error where the request was made prior to the date of maximum medical improvement.
White v. UTC/Pratt & Whitney, 16 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 139, 3048 CRB-8-95-3 (November 27, 1996).
On appeal, the claimant contended that the trial commissioner was required to issue a permanency award for a burn on the claimant’s leg. The trial commissioner found that the claimant’s injury “may not have reached maximum medical improvement and that the respondents are entitled to have (the) claimant undergo a course of treatment involving the medication Psoralen to determine whether or not the scar is permanent and significant in nature.” CRB affirmed the trial commissioner’s determination which was supported by medical testimony. See also, White, § 31-301.
Blassingame v. Acme Steel Co., 16 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 20, 3007 CRB-6-95-3 (October 8, 1996), aff’d, 45 Conn. App. 914 (1997)(per curiam).
Trial commissioner credited doctor’s report diagnosing one percent hearing loss, even though all doctors’ examinations revealed severe high frequency hearing loss. AMA formula relied on by doctor does not take into account very low or high frequency hearing losses in computing overall hearing loss. CRB affirmed commissioner’s decision. Although board acknowledged its decision in Ricigliano, 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 142, 2190 CRB-6-94-10 (January 18, 1996), where it ruled that reliance on AMA guidelines resulted in an unfairly low permanent partial disability assessment, it stated that reversing the commissioner’s decision would not comport with principles of appellate review of a trial commissioner’s prerogative to find the facts amidst conflicting evidence. Thus, the commissioner’s decision was affirmed. See also, Blassingame, § 31-298.
Bertalovitz v. Danbury, 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 186, 2204 CRB-7-94-11 (April 1, 1996).
Claimant’s post-traumatic stress disorder was caused by an incident during his employment as a police officer. Commissioner concluded that this did not disable him from all employment, however, and that PTSD is a treatable anxiety disorder rather than a neurological impairment of the brain. Because insufficient evidence was presented to establish permanent loss of brain function, permanent partial disability benefits were denied. CRB affirmed that decision, as evidence supported the factual findings. Also, § 31-294d(c) allows commissioner to direct change of treating physician without a hearing.
Rogulski v. UTC/Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 182, 2113 CRB-2-94-7 (April 1, 1996).
See, Rogulski, § 31-349 (scarring award not included in 104-week calculation).
Ricigliano v. Rex Forge, 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 142, 2190 CRB-6-94-10 (January 18, 1996), dismissed for lack of final judgment, A.C. 15655 (May 2, 1996).
Under compelling factual circumstances, CRB concluded that the trial commissioner’s reliance on the AMA guidelines resulted in a permanent partial disability assessment which did not fairly or accurately reflect the claimant’s undisputed high frequency hearing loss. Accordingly, CRB remanded issue to the trial commissioner in order to determine the claimant’s permanent partial hearing loss without limiting the determination to the AMA guidelines. (Frankl, C., DISSENTING) (would affirm the trial commissioner’s determination of the claimant’s percentage of permanent hearing loss as this board has repeatedly held that the determination of the extent of an injured worker’s permanent disability is within the trial commissioner’s province as the trier of the facts).
Burr v. Hoffman Water Treatment Co., 14 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 180, 2125 CRB-8-94-8 (June 29, 1995).
Trial commissioner found that payment of benefits was requested over ten months before maximum medical improvement was reached. Under McCurdy v. State, 227 Conn. 261 (1993), claimant must request payment of specific award after maximum medical improvement is reached, as award does not vest until that time. Thus, commissioner erred in finding that dependent widow was entitled to unpaid portion of specific award. See also, Burr, § 31-298.
Golino v. Standard Builders, 14 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 103, 1510 CRB-1-92-9 (June 2, 1995).
Remanded. Trier’s denial of additional permanent partial disability benefits was based on a fact not in evidence. Trier mistakenly inferred claimant had knowledge of doctor’s report and the parties compromise was based on the consideration of that report. See also, Golino, § 31-308a.
Dextraze v. Lydall, Inc., 14 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 52, 1615 CRB-2-92-12 (May 10, 1995).
Trier relied on respondent’s medical expert and subsequent report of treating physician when determining date of maximum medical improvement rather than treater’s earlier permanent partial disability rating as date of maximum medical improvement. See also, Dextraze, § 31-308(a),a and § 31-310.
Angell v. Guida Seibert Dairy, 14 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 7, 1836 CRB-1-93-9 (April 28, 1995).
Commuted permanent partial benefits under § 31-308 interrupted by a period of temporary total disability will be applied after total disability ceases. Section 31-308(a) benefits will follow. See, Antonucci v. Hartford, 5 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 151, 511 CRD-1-86 (July 29, 1988). Trier properly determined the order in which benefits should be paid when temporary total interrupts period when commuted permanent partial benefits are being paid.
Shimko v. Ferro Corp., 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 255, 1744 CRB-7-93-5 (April 18, 1995), rev’d, 40 Conn. App. 409 (1996).
Commissioner did not abuse discretion in failing to award § 31-308(d) benefits where no evidence of permanent organ loss existed, and claimant’s treating physician observed the disappearance of claimant’s symptoms after he left employment with respondent. Reversed, on § 31-308(a) issue. See also, Shimko, § 31-284b, § 31-308(a).
Peters v. State/Southern Conn. State Univ., 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 131, 1616 CRB-5-92-12 (February 1, 1995).
Commissioner considered all listed statutory criteria in awarding benefits for loss of rectal function, abdominal wall and sexual potency under § 31-308(d) (repealed 1993). No finding required as to effect of injuries on earning capacity, although such a finding would be permissible. Compensation under § 31-308(d) is in nature of specific award. See also, Peters, § 31-294c.
Tinsley v. J.H. Ney Company, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 409, 1554 CRB-1-92-11 (September 16, 1994).
Employer’s reliance on Extended Illness Income Protection Plan in order to receive a credit on specific award misplaced. Awards under § 31-308 do not represent actual lost wages as referred to in said policy. Furthermore, payments made under that policy are not for a work connected injury or illness. Recourse is with superior court and not with this forum. See also, Tinsley, § 31-314, Allowance for advance payments.
Salz v. Oliver’s Taverne, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 325, 1593 CRB-8-92-12 (July 5, 1994).
Medical evidence, although conflicting, supports trier’s finding that claimant’s disability did not increase and therefore claimant was not entitled to additional permanent partial benefits. See also, Salz, § 31-308a.
Messier v. General Dynamics Corporation/Electric Boat Division, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 157, 1495 CRB-2-92-8 (April 26, 1994).
Trier’s finding denying claimant estate’s claim that decedent had reached maximum medical improvement as his terminal lung condition would never change, affirmed. CRB held trier’s conclusion was based on medical evidence and must stand. See also, Messier, § 31-301. Appeal procedure.
Hall v. Gilbert & Bennett Mfg. Co., 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 146, 1449 CRB-7-92-7 (April 7, 1994), order to dismiss granted, A.C. 13523 (June 29, 1994), cert. denied, 231 Conn. 903 (1994).
CRB reversed trial commissioner’s denial of claimant’s request for a specific award where maximum medical improvement had been reached yet claimant continued to be totally disabled. Under McCurdy v. State, 227 Conn. 261 (1993), where an injured worker reaches maximum medical improvement his right to a permanency award has vested, therefore, the commissioner does not have discretion to deny such award if the worker requests that award. However, respondents are entitled to a credit against that award for any total disability benefits paid between the date of request and the date the injured worker is no longer totally disabled or dies. See also later Hall, § 31-301. Appeal procedure and § 31-349.
Prioleau v. Larosa Construction, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 140, 1432 CRB-8-92-6 (April 7, 1994).
Remanded as CRB held claimant is entitled under § 31-349(a) to full permanency award where physician attributes half of disability rating to a pre-existing condition. Additionally, trier must determine whether claimant’s pre-existing permanency was due to his prior workplace injury or some other cause. See also, Prioleau, § 31-299b, § 31-307 and § 31-349.
Mansfield v. State/Dept. of Correction, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 226, 1388 CRB-1-92-3 (March 23, 1994).
CRB affirmed trier’s conclusion denying claimant § 31-308 benefits for an accepted hypertension claim where physician’s impairment rating of claimant’s cardiovascular system was based on claimant’s reduced employability. See also, Mansfield, § 31-301. Appeal procedure.
Kerins v. Johnson Controls, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 72, 1419 CRB-8-92-5 (February 3, 1994).
Trier’s decision affirmed. Medical opinion evidence as to date of maximum medical improvement and extent of disability amply supports trier’s findings. Trier is not bound by medical opinion of treating physician.
Furrey v. Wells Fargo Alarm System, 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 192, 1307 CRD-3-91-9 (September 22, 1993).
Trier awarded claimant 234 weeks permanent partial disability of her temporomandibular joints based on criteria set forth in § 31-308(d), (now § 31-308(c)). CRB found award was not based on a whole person impairment. See also, Furrey, § 31-298.
Romanski v. West Hartford, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 253, 1222 CRD-1-91-4 (January 13, 1993), aff’d, 34 Conn. 307 (1994).
Evidence reasonably supports a conclusion that claimant sustained a permanent physical impairment of the cardiovascular system due to hypertension. See also, Romanski, § 7-433c.
Snyder v. Americo-U-Haul of Connecticut, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 232, 1219 CRD-5-91-4 (January 7, 1993).
Remanded as trier failed to address evidence as to whether claimant suffered a permanent partial disability of the back. CRB affirmed trier on § 31-307b issue. See also, Snyder, § 31-307b.
Peterson v. Standard Structural Steel, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 200, 1211 CRD-6-91-4 (November 12, 1992).
Claimant is not entitled to receive concurrent payment of temporary total and permanent partial benefits. See, Paternostro v. Edward Coon Co., 217 Conn. 42 (1991).
Duso v. Emhart Corporation, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 146, 1175 CRD-6-91-2 (June 29, 1992).
Trier’s finding that claimant reached maximum medical improvement and sustained a 5% permanent partial disability of each hand due to compensable bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome supported by medical evidence.
Miner v. Watertown, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 100, 971 CRD-5-90-1 (April 28, 1992).
Evidence before trier disclosed claimant suffered a permanent partial disability to his right arm. See also, Miner, § 31-300, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-308(a).
McCarthy v. 10 Star Corporation, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 64, 1134 CRD-2-90-11 (March 16, 1992).
Trier based his award of 5% permanent partial disability of the right ankle on medical evidence which did not specifically evaluate pain and assign a percentage of disability for it. CRB finds no error in conclusions reached. See also, McCarthy, § 31-301. Appeal procedure.
Peters v. State/Southern Connecticut State University, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 32, 1103 CRD-3-90- 8 (January 13, 1992).
Remanded as trier relied on medical reports not entered into evidence and made part of the record below in awarding permanent partial disability benefits. See also, Peters, § 31-294c, § 31-301. Appeal procedure.
Roswell v. State/Southbury Training School, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 19, 1094 CRD-5-90-8 (December 27, 1991), aff’d, 29 Conn. App. 432 (1992), cert. denied, 224 Conn. 922 (1992).
Dependent widow’s claim for additional specific award based on the increase of decedent’s permanent partial disability for loss of use of the heart denied. Trier found decedent totally disabled and decedent received temporary total benefits until his date of death.
St. Germain v. Waterbury, 9 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 290, 1084 CRD-5-90-8 (December 27, 1991).
Remanded as trier failed to make specific factual findings as to why claimant was not entitled to the number of weeks of benefits customarily awarded for twenty (20%) percent loss of use of both lungs and to indicate the statutory procedure followed in arriving at the conclusion reached.
Alger v. Rossi Corporation, 9 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 261, 1065 CRD-1-90-6 (December 5, 1991).
Trier’s award based on loss of use of the brain supported by evidence. The amount of benefits awarded is discretionary depending upon the disabling effect of loss of or loss of function of the organ and not based on a set mathematical formula. See also, Alger, § 31-349.
Barter v. Greenwich Country Day School, 9 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 244, 966 CRD-7-90-1 (October 31, 1991).
Surviving spouse and estate are not entitled to § 31-308 specific benefits even though decedent was rated. No specific award was ever made or sought as decedent received temporary total benefits until his death. See, McCurdy v. State, 9 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 22, 887 CRD-4-89-6 (January 10, 1991), aff’d, 26 Conn. App. 466 (1992), rev’d, 227 Conn. 261 (1993) and Bacote v. Anaconda American Brass, 1 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 42, 18 CRD-5-80 (June 12, 1981).
Corcoran v. Corcoran Moving and Storage, Inc., 9 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 237, 1030 CRD-5-90-6 (October 31, 1991).
CRD affirmed trier’s finding which awarded claimant total disability benefits for disabling condition which rendered claimant a paraplegic even though claimant sought benefits under § 31-308(b). See also, Corcoran, § 31-301, § 31-284(a) and § 31-307.
Straub v. Bolt Technology Corporation, 9 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 212, 1130 CRD-3-90-11 (September 12, 1991).
Award for 15% loss of use of the lumbar spine supported by evidence. See also, Straub, § 31-298, § 31-294f.
McCurdy v. State, 9 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 22, 887 CRD-4-89-6 (January 10, 1991), aff’d, 26 Conn. App. 466 (1992), rev’d, 227 Conn. 261 (1993).
Within trier’s power to decide whether to award § 31-308 benefits when claimant reaches maximum medical improvement and remains totally disabled. Unmatured benefits pursuant to § 31-308 payable only to dependents eligible to receive them. Supreme Court reversed CRB and held that the estate was entitled to the payment of specific benefits although at the time of decedent’s death, due to unrelated causes, he was receiving temporary total benefits. See also, McCurdy, § 31-295, § 31-306.
Williams v. Best Cleaners, 8 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 168, 843 CRD-1-89-3 (October 26, 1990).
Section 31-308(d) does not enumerate body parts as § 31-308(b) does. Where there is testimony to conclude that the lung function as a whole was incapacitated, and not just a piece of each lung, it was proper for the commissioner to transfer liability after 104 weeks of payment. See also, Williams, § 31-349.
Shallcross v. New London, 8 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 150, 935 CRD-2-89-10 (September 20, 1990).
Section 31-308(d) benefits payable under § 7-433c. See, Felia v. Westport, 214 Conn. 181 (1990), aff’d, 7 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 84, 703 CRD-4-88-3 (September 25, 1989) and Deschnow v. Stamford, 214 Conn. 394 (1990), aff’d, 7 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 86, 706 CRD-7-88-3 (September 25, 1989). Claimant entitled to same benefits as available under Chapter 568. See also, Shallcross, § 31-284b and § 31-283a.
Paternostro v. The Edward Coon Co., 8 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op.113, 817 CRD-5-89-2 (June 19, 1990), aff’d, 217 Conn. 42 (1991).
See, Paternostro, § 31-307.
Stevens v. Raybestos Manhattan, 8 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 84, 833 CRD-4-89-3 (May 11, 1990), aff’d, 28 Conn. App. 226 (1992), cert. denied, 223 Conn 921 (1992).
Disfigurement and unscheduled permanent partial. Permanent partial disability benefits due to asbestos exposure should be calculated on the basis of the average weekly wage at the time claimant was found to be permanently and partially disabled. See also, Stevens, § 31-310.
Misenti v. International Silver Co., 7 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 96, 729 CRD-6-88-9 (October 19, 1989), no error, 215 Conn. 206 (1990).
Finding that claimant is permanently partially disabled due to impaired motion of his hands caused by chronic skin dermatitis is within the discretion of the trial commissioner.
Vieta v. Consolidated Cigar, 7 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 48, 677 CRD-6-87 (August 3, 1989).
Employer liable for separate 104 week benefit period for each injury scheduled or unscheduled that may have arisen from same accident before transferring liability to the Fund. See also, Vieta, § 31-349.
Laine v. New England Aircraft, 6 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op., 138, 536 CRD-6-86 (April 5, 1989).
Where evidence in conflict as to reversibility of claimant’s lung condition award for loss of lung function permitted.
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).
Claimant by accepting benefits under this section admits to legal inference that he is no longer totally disabled. See also, Hicks, § 31-300, § 31-307, § 31-308a.
Piscitelli v. Connecticut Coke/Eastern Gas and Fuel Associates, 6 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 94, 575 CRD-3-87 (January 26, 1989).
Commissioner did take into account statute’s criteria. AMA Guidelines may be considered although whole man awards not permitted.
Plourde v. Scovill Manufacturing Co., 6 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 67, 521 CRD-5-86 (December 1, 1988).
Permanent partial benefits for a 30% loss of use of stomach cannot be paid simultaneously with temporary total benefits.
Smith v. United Technologies Corp., 6 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 61, 142 CRD-6-82(2) (November 14, 1988).
Affirmed trial commissioner’s award for loss of use of umbilical skin where award was adequately supported by factual findings. See, Smith, infra.
Debarros v. A.L. Singleton, 6 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 22, 498 CRD-5-86 (September 19, 1988) no error, 21 Conn. App. 107 (1990).
CRD affirmed dismissal of claim for loss of use of brain. See also, Debarros, § 31-298, § 31-301. Factual findings.
Antonucci v. Hartford, 5 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 151, 511 CRD-1-86 (July 29, 1988).
See, Antonucci, § 7-433c.
Macsata v. Stamford, 5 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 144, 377 CRD-7-85 (July 22, 1988).
Permanent partial benefits may not be awarded for unscheduled injuries which existed prior to law permitting such awards.
Delcarmine v. Fire Prevention Service, Inc., 5 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 123, 311 CRD-7-84 (June 27, 1988).
Determination of when claimant reached maximum medical improvement is a matter within trial commissioner’s discretion.
Miner v. Federal Paperboard Co., 4 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 129, 333 CRD-2-84 (December 1, 1987).
Award for permanent partial benefits in lieu of total disability is a matter within the trial commissioner’s discretion.
Mignosa v. New Britain, 3 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 75, 135 CRD-6-82 (October 8, 1986).
Once claimant has been properly paid benefits, a defense of laches will not bar later benefits even though claim has been inactive.
Laine v. New England Aircraft, 2 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 109, 195 CRD-6-83 (November 13, 1984).
Claimant may pursue an award under § 31-308(d) where injury was compensable.
Levesque v. State, 2 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 98, 231 CRD-6-83 (August 8, 1984).
Where commissioner awarded benefits for brain loss, Finding and Award must take into account statute’s requirements.
Smith v. UTC/Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Div., 2 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 23, 142 CRD-6-82 (May 25, 1983).
Awards under this provision must be supported by facts showing statutory requirements were met.
Correa v. New England Forge, 1 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 164, 48 CRD-6-81 (August 13, 1982).
Claimant claimed 10% permanent partial disability of the back; Commissioner only awarded 5%.
Smith v. State, 1 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 95, 78 CRD-2-81 (January 4, 1982), error; further proceedings, 38 Conn. Sup. 648 (1983).
See later case listed under § 31-308(c).
Bacote v. Anaconda American Brass, 1 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 42, 18 CRD-5-80 (June 12, 1981).
Dependent widow was not entitled to specific compensation when decedent had remained on total temporary until his death from unrelated causes.