State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
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CRB Case Annotations re: Section 31-308(c)

[Formerly Sec. 31-308(e)]

Disfigurement.

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THESE ANNOTATIONS ARE PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY

Full texts of opinions, statutes and court decisions should be consulted and all citations and references fully researched by the reader.

The Annotations to Compensation Review Board Opinions are presented “as is” and the Commission makes no warranties as to the suitability of this information for any given purpose.
Please note also that Annotations change periodically due to several factors including, but not limited to, Appellate and Supreme Court decisions issued in workers’ compensation cases.

Duffy v. International Paper Co., 5860 CRB-2-13-17 (July 2, 2014).

Claimant sustained compensable injury which included amputation of two toes. Trial commissioner found claimant was totally disabled and that scars on his foot that were related to injury were not preventing him from finding work. On appeal, CRB sustained ruling as facts indicated claimant did not comply with statutory requirement for a scar award.

Atkinson v. United Illuminating Company, 5064 CRB-4-06-3 (April 19, 2007).

Claimant suffered scars from burns suffered in electrical accident. Following treatment he returned to prior supervisory position, performed job functions and had received pay increases. Trial commissioner declined to award benefits for nonenumerated scars as she determined evidence presented was that they did not impair claimant’s ability to obtain work or continue work, CRB upheld trial commissioner. Claimant’s opinion as to possible future employment issues was speculative and reliance on North Carolina legal precedent unpersuasive.

Student v. Corometrics Medical Systems, Inc., 3980 CRB-8-99-2 (February 9, 2000).

CRB affirmed trial commissioner’s scarring award, which mentioned another commissioner’s assessment made during a prior informal hearing. Board cautioned that a trier should not review notes from a prior informal hearing. However, reference to informal hearing constituted harmless error, because the trier specifically stated that his scarring award was based upon his “own observation” and upon a physician’s evaluation which was part of the record. See also, Student, § 31-275(1), § 31-294d, § 31-298.

Bilotta v. Connecticut Natural Gas, 3536 CRB-1-97-2 (May 26, 1998).

CRB affirmed the trial commissioner’s denial of the claimant’s request for a scarring award where the scar was caused by a second surgery for hernia repair and exploration of prior hernia operation. See also, Bilotta, § 31-308(a). Subsequent decision at Bilotta, 4106 CRB-1-99-8 (October 5, 2000).

Neal v. UTC/Pratt & Whitney, 3496 CRB-1-96-12 (April 6, 1998).

See, Neal, § 31-308(b).

Patel v. Connecticut Container Corp., 14 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 256, 1963 CRB-4-94-2 (August 31, 1995).

Compensable injury resulted in amputation of leg. Skin grafts made from claimant’s abdomen to left leg stump. Commissioner made scarring award for donor site. Affirmed; Stitzer v. Rinaldi’s Restaurant, 211 Conn. 116 (1989), is not controlling law because spinal surgery exception applied in that case. In contrast, exception relied on here was loss of member exception, which contemplates a substitute award under § 31-308(b). Because no such award is available for loss of skin at donor site, CRB determined statute should not be construed narrowly to prevent scarring award.

Flanagan v. Waterbury Hospital, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 345, 1538 CRB-5-92-10 (July 29, 1994).

CRB affirmed scar/disfigurement award as the result of a cesarean section child birth necessitated by complications due to a compensable lumbar spine injury.

Tomkus v. Upjohn Company, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 182, 1533 CRB-3-92-10 (May 2, 1994).

See, Tomkus, § 31-349.

Vargas v. Guilford Gravure, 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 28, 1253 CRD-3-91-7 (February 23, 1993).

Disfigurement award for permanent significant disfigurement of claimant’s body caused by prescribed medication due to work related asthmatic condition upheld.

Faraci v. Connecticut Light & Power Co., 5 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 160, 508 CRD-2-86 (August 10, 1988).

See, Faraci, § 31-278.

Lukonis v. American Cyanamid Co., 5 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 129, 492 CRD-3-86 (June 29, 1988).

Law controlling benefits for scars and disfigurement will not be applied retroactively.

Cloutier v. General Dynamics Corporation/Electric Boat Division, 5 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 79, 424 CRD-2-85 (May 10, 1988).

See, McGowan v. General Dynamics Corp., infra.

Stitzer v. Rinaldi’s Restaurant, 4 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 104, 369 CRD-5-84 (June 15, 1987), aff’d, 15 Conn. App. 356 (1988), rev’d, judgment directed, 211 Conn. 116 (1989).

Surgical scar on anterior portion of neck and hip due to cervical fusion held compensable.

Repasi v. Jenkins Brothers, 4 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 82, 227 CRD-4-83 (June 11, 1987), dismissed on other grounds, 16 Conn. App. 121 (1988), cert. denied, 209 Conn. 817 (1988).

Act does not permit awards on basis of AMA whole person impairment assessment. However, such assessments may serve as evidence. Also scarring for non-scheduled injury was permitted.

Falcone v. United Technologies Corp., 4 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 54, 266 CRD-6-83, 267 CRD-6-83 (April 16, 1987).

Unclear from trial commissioner’s finding and award if scar was significant.

McGowan v. General Dynamics Corporation/Electric Boat Division, 4 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 12, 273 CRD-2-83 (March 2, 1987), error, judgment directed, 15 Conn. App. 615 (1988), aff’d, 210 Conn. 580 (1989)(per curiam).

CRD held claimants entitled to scarring benefits in addition to federally provided Longshoremen’s benefits. Reversed by Appellate Court. Appellate Court affirmed by Supreme Court.

Morro v. UTC/Sikorsky Aircraft, 4 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 10, 347 CRD-4-84 (March 2, 1987).

Scar award depends on trial commissioner’s factual determination if the scar was significant.

Smith v. State, 3 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 69, 78 CRD-2-81 (September 11, 1986).

Contemporaneous payments for organ temporary total disability and organ loss permanent partial disability not permitted.

Scalora v. Dattco, Inc., 1 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 203, 157 CRD-6-82 (November 8, 1982), reversed & remanded, 39 Conn. Sup. 449 (1983).

CRD affirmed commissioner’s ruling benefits for disfigurement under § 31-308 could not be paid concurrently with total incapacity benefits. Appellate Court reversed.

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