State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, Stephen M. Morelli, Chairman
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Miller v. TVCCA

CASE NO. 1675 CRB-2-93-3



JULY 29, 1994











The claimant was represented by Richard D. Haviland, Esq., and Warren Miller, Esq., Rakosky, Smith, Miller & Papp, P.C., 71 Granite Street, New London, CT 06320. She also appeared pro se.

The respondents were represented by Jason M. Dodge, Esq. and Lucas D. Strunk, Esq., Pomeranz, Drayton & Stabnick, 95 Glastonbury Blvd., Glastonbury, CT 06033-4412.

This Petition for Review from the March 9, 1993 Finding and Award of the Commissioner for the Second District was heard March 25, 1994 before a Compensation Review Board panel consisting of the Commission Chairman Jesse Frankl and Commissioners Angelo L. dos Santos and Nancy A. Brouillet.


JESSE FRANKL, CHAIRMAN. It is not disputed that the claimant sustained a compensable workplace injury on February 8, 1980. Although she claimed total incapacity benefits since that date, the trial commissioner found that she was totally disabled from February 8 to March 7, 1980 and from May 13 to October 27, 1981. The commissioner further found that the 1989 back surgery performed by Dr. Mario Sculco was not causally related to the compensable injury. On appeal, the claimant challenges these findings.1

“The issue of the causal relationship between the [1980] workplace injury and the claimant’s later back problems was the subject of divergent medical opinion. Where the medical evidence was in conflict, the trial commissioner’s conclusion must stand so long as there is evidence to support it. Pulcinella v. Prudential Insurance Company, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 251, 1236 CRD-6-91-5 (1993).” Dusto v. Rogers Corporation, 1496 CRB-1-92-8 (decided February 4, 1994). Here, the commissioner obviously gave greater weight to those witnesses and that evidence which, for the most part, discounted a causal relationship between the claimant’s numerous medical complaints, including her back condition which ultimately led to surgical intervention, and her February 8, 1980 compensable injury.

We may not disturb the commissioner’s conclusions which are dependent on the weight and credibility accorded the evidence. Goodrow v. W.J. Barney Corporation, 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 207, 1315 CRD-2-91-9 (1993); Neal v. UTC/Pratt & Whitney, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 163, 1199 CRD-8-91-3 (1992). It is the trial commissioner, as the trier of facts, who determines with finality the credibility of the witnesses and the weight to be accorded their testimony. Fletcher v. UTC/Pratt & Whitney, 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 182, 1322 CRD-8-91-10 (1993), quoting Miller v. Kirshner, 225 Conn. 185, 198 (1993), and State v. Robinson, 213 Conn. 243, 256 (1989). Because the conclusions drawn by the trial commissioner from the facts found did not result from an incorrect application of the law or from an inference illegally or unreasonably drawn from the subordinate facts, the commissioner’s conclusion must stand. Fair v. People’s Savings Bank, 207 Conn. 535, 539 (1988).

We, therefore, affirm the trial commissioner and deny the appeal.2

Commissioners Angelo L. dos Santos and Nancy A. Brouillet concur.

1 The Finding and Award in this case was issued on March 9, 1993, but the original and required copies of the Petition for Review were not filed in the Second District until March 22, 1993, some thirteen days later. The record reveals that the claimant sent a copy of the Petition for Review to that district office on March 19, 1993 by facsimile machine, after it was discovered that the original petition had not arrived on that day by Express/Overnight mail initiated on March 18, 1993. Based on this record, the claimant was in substantial compliance with the timely appeal requirements of General Statutes Sec. 31-301. See Trinkley v. Ella Grasso Regional Center, 220 Conn. 739, 742-45 (1992). BACK TO TEXT

2 We also deny the claimant’s “motion to submit additional medical records, office medical claim forms, and new findings” dated March 29, 1993. The claimant has not shown good reasons for her failure to present this evidence in the proceedings before the commissioner, as required by Administrative Regulation Sec. 31-301-9. BACK TO TEXT

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State of Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission, Stephen M. Morelli, Chairman
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