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CASE NO. 4702 CRB-5-03-8
COMPENSATION REVIEW BOARD
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION
MAY 25, 2005
LABOR READY INC.
The claimant was pro se.
The respondents were represented by Diane Duhamel, Esq., McGann, Bartlett & Brown, LLC, 111 Founders Plaza, Suite 1201, East Hartford, CT 06108.
This Petition for Review from the July 10, 2003 Finding and Dismissal of the Commissioner acting for the Fifth District was heard October 22, 2004 before a Compensation Review Board panel consisting of the Commission Chairman John A. Mastropietro and Commissioners Leonard S. Paoletta and Howard H. Belkin.
JOHN A. MASTROPIETRO, CHAIRMAN. The claimant, Allan Orciari, has appealed from the July 10, 2003 Finding and Dismissal of the Commissioner acting for the Fifth District.1 The respondents have moved to dismiss this appeal on the ground that the claimant’s Petition for Review was not filed within the statutory time period. We grant the Motion to Dismiss.
The respondents filed a Motion to Dismiss received by this office on August 13, 2003. Pursuant to § 31-301(a) C.G.S. a party must file a petition for review within twenty days of the date of notice of a trial commissioner’s determination. When a petitioner fails to file an appeal within the statutorily prescribed time period the board loses subject matter jurisdiction of the matter and the appeal must be dismissed. Freeman v. Hull Dye & Print, Inc., 39 Conn. App. 717, 720 (1995); Downer v. Mark IV Construction, 4462 CRB-3-01-11 (November 15, 2002). In this case the trial commissioner issued the Finding and Dismissal and sent notice to the parties of such on July 10, 2003. The claimant filed his Petition for Review with the Fifth District Workers’ Compensation Commission office on August 1, 2003. The appeal should have been filed on or before July 30, 2003. The claimant’s appeal was filed in excess of the twenty day statutory period, therefore, this board does not have subject matter jurisdiction over this appeal. For this reason we must dismiss the appeal.
However, we take this opportunity to note that if we were to reach the merits of the claimant’s appeal we would likely have no grounds upon which to reverse the trial commissioner’s findings. This board does not have the power to overturn a trier’s decision regarding the relative weight to be given to testimony and documentary evidence on review. Duddy v. Filene’s (May Department Stores Co.), 4484 CRB-7-02-1 (October 23, 2002); Webb v. Pfizer, Inc., 14 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 69, 1859 CRB-5-93-9 (May 12, 1995). We note, no transcript of the formal hearing was provided to this board for review, therefore, there is not a full record that would enable this board to properly consider the appeal under § 31-301 C.G.S. Furthermore, the claimant has failed to file any documents that would apprise us of his reasons for appeal. The claimant has filed a Motion for Reconsideration which we presume describes the grounds that the claimant is appealing. Normally we afford pro se litigants some flexibility in the documents they file when pursuing their appeal. Unfortunately, even if we were able to use this motion to review the findings, the substance of this handwritten motion is incoherent. We can note, however, that upon review of the documentary evidence in the record we believe there was sufficient evidence to support the commissioner’s findings.2
The claimant’s appeal is accordingly dismissed.
Commissioners Leonard S. Paoletta and Howard H. Belkin concur.
1 We note that numerous extensions of time were granted during the course of the appellate process. BACK TO TEXT
2 We also note that the claimant has provided this board with additional correspondence after the oral argument in the case. There was no need to consider the correspondence as part of the appeal because the appeal is dismissed. We note, if this correspondence was intended to provide additional evidence the proper vehicle to submit such is a Motion to Submit Additional Evidence pursuant to Administrative Regulation § 31-301-9. Additionally, if the claimant had evidence and was able to prove that this was information was unavailable at the time of the formal hearing pursuant to § 31-301-9 he should have submitted it prior to oral argument. See Rurak v. Sweet Life Inc., 4630 CRB-1-03-2 (February 6, 2004). BACK TO TEXT
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