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CRB Case Annotations re: Section 31-275(16)

[Formerly § 31-275(8)]

Personal Injury.


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.

Thomas v. Bridgeport, 6206 CRB-3-17-7 (July 30, 2018).

Claimant was injured while playing softball at picnic for city employees. Trial commissioner found injury was “on the clock” and claimant’s supervisor had recruited him to play, thus finding injury compensable. City appealed arguing § 31-275 (16) (B) (i) C.G.S. made injury noncompensable. CRB affirmed award, facts and law herein were indistinguishable from Anderton v. WasteAway Services, L.L.C., 91 Conn. App. 345 (2005). See also, Thomas, § 31-275(1).

Wilson v. Capitol Garage, Inc., 6109 CRB-2-16-6 (May 16, 2017).

Claimant asserted lung injury from work at body shop, where he was asked to stop working. After a Motion to Preclude was granted he presented evidence as to disability and commissioner ordered a commissioner’s examination. Commissioner then denied claim for temporary or partial benefits. Claimant appealed and CRB determined trial commissioner’s statements at hearing could have prejudiced claimant, and remanded for further proceedings. See also, Wilson, § 31-275(1); § 31-294c; § 31-294f; § 31-298.

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); § 31-299b; § 31-301 Factual findings; § 31-308(b).

Barbee v. Sysco Food Services, 5892 CRB-8-13-11 (October 16, 2014).

Claimant asserted her knee injury was the result of overuse at work, specifically due to excess work unloading trucks in aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Respondents produced witnesses that contested this narrative and presented surveillance video showing claimant carrying crates and opening and closing doors without apparent discomfort. Trial commissioner found claimant’s narrative not credible and credited testimony of respondent’s witnesses, therefore dismissing claim. CRB affirmed dismissal on appeal. Case found indistinguishable from other cases such as Savageau v. Stop & Shop Companies, Inc., 5808 CRB-3-12-12 (November 7, 2013) where video evidence refuted claimant’s account of disability. Effort to claim respondent’s witnesses not credible was not effective, as held in Toroveci v. Globe Tool & Metal Stamping Co., Inc., 5253 CRB-6-07-7 (July 22, 2008) claimant must be a credible witness to prevail and if all witnesses were not credible case must be dismissed. See also, Barbee, § 31-275(1); § 31-301 Factual findings.

King v. Bridgeport, 5889 CRB-4-13-10 (September 18, 2014).

Claimant was dependent spouse of a Bridgeport police officer who had received a § 7-433c C.G.S. award. Upon his death, she filed a claim for § 31-306 C.G.S. benefits and relied on a death certificate that stated cause of death was coronary arterial disease to assert claim was due to a compensable injury. Trial commissioner issued award and respondents appealed, arguing the death was due to other noncompensable factors. CRB affirmed award, evidence presented by claimant was sufficient to find death herein was due to injury already deemed compensable. See also, King, § 31-294c; § 31-301 Factual findings; § 31-306.

DiGiovanni v. Lombardo Brothers Mason Brothers Contractors, 5869 CRB-5-13-8 (August 5, 2014).

Claimant, a mason, appealed trial commissioner’s dismissal of claim for knee symptoms. Trier determined that because claimant’s repetitive trauma injury more closely resembled accidental injury rather than occupational disease, and notice was filed more than one year after last date of injurious exposure, Workers’ Compensation Commission lacked subject matter jurisdiction. CRB affirmed, noting that although medical reports in evidence supported causation, claimant failed to establish that injury was “distinctively associated with” or “peculiar to the occupation” of mason and testimony demonstrated that claimant had constructive knowledge that symptoms were work-related many years before filing claim. See also, DiGiovanni, § 31-275(15); § 31-294c; § 31-301 Factual findings.

Madden v. Danbury Hospital, 5745 CRB-7-12-4 (April 22, 2013).

See also, Madden, § 31-275(1); § 31-294f; § 31-301 Factual findings.

Stoll v. Town of Windsor/Board of Education, 5743 CRB-1-12-4 (April 2, 2013).

Claimant was injured while chaperoning PTO dance at her place of employment. She asserted that § 31-275(16)(B)(iv) C.G.S. made this injury compensable. Trial commissioner concluded weight of the evidence, including fact claimant’s children attended the event made the injury noncompensable. Commissioner found claimant had not been specifically requested by a supervisor to attend the event. On appeal, claimant argued that Anderton v. WasteAway Services, LLC, 91 Conn. App. 345 (2005) made injury compensable. CRB affirmed trial commissioner. Statute requires a supervisor to direct a claimant to attend a school sponsored event, and commissioner did not find this fact. In addition, evidence was claimant attended event as a family social event with fiancé and children. Mleczko v. Haynes Construction Co., 5109 CRB-7-06-7 (July 17, 2007) aff’d, 111 Conn. App. 744 (2008) stands for proposition “[t]his board cannot reverse a trial commissioner’s factual determination as to whether an activity is social in nature or part of one’s duties of employment.”

Palmieri v. Simkins Industries, Inc., 5694 CRB-3-11-11 (October 10, 2012).

Claimant filed claim for hearing loss alleging it was due to repetitive trauma at workplace. Trial commissioner found claim compensable. Respondent appealed, arguing that medical evidence supported their position claimant ceased being exposed to injurious noise more than one year prior to filing his claim; thus making claim untimely. CRB affirmed trial commissioner. Claimant and treating physician testified to claimant being exposed to injurious noise from power tool use up to date he left respondent’s employ; trial commissioner could reasonably rely on this evidence to find claim jurisdictionally valid. CRB found case more akin to Marandino v. Prometheus Pharmacy, 294 Conn. 564 (2010) than DiNuzzo v. Dan Perkins Chevrolet Geo. Inc., 294 Conn. 132 (2009). See also, Palmieri, § 31-294c; § 31-301 Factual findings.

Henry v. City of Ansonia, 5674 CRB-4-11-8 (August 8, 2012).

Claimant suffered cardiac event while at work in 2005 and was treated thereafter. Respondent filed Form 43. Claimant later filed Firm 30C in 2008 alleging hypertension, heart disease and sinus tachycardia. Respondent did not file a timely Form 43 to this claim. Claimant later filed Motion to Preclude which trial commissioner granted on issues of heart disease and sinus tachycardia. Commissioner also determined that hypertension case lacked subject matter jurisdiction. Respondent appealed granting of Motion to Preclude, CRB affirmed commissioner; fact-driven decision herein. Claimant appealed arguing they had no notice jurisdictional issue was going to be decided. CRB sustained claimant’s appeal; record did not reflect parties on notice jurisdictional issue would be decided. Case remanded for further proceedings. See also, Henry, § 31-294c; § 31-298; § 31-301 Appeal procedure.

Volta v. United Parcel Service, 5612 CRB-7-10-12 (January 31, 2012).

Claimant appealed denial of Motion to Preclude and dismissal of claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, contending trier erroneously relied on respondents’ expert evidence in reaching conclusion that repetitive trauma claim was untimely filed. Claimant’s notice of claim used last date of employment as date of injury and trier accepted evidence from respondents’ expert opining exposure to repetitive trauma occurred during earlier period of employment. CRB held that consistent with Russell v. Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc., 252 Conn. 596 (2000), notice of claim was sufficient on its face to support Motion to Preclude and reversed and remanded for additional proceedings. CRB cautioned that admission of evidence in new trial must comport with guidelines set forth in Harpaz v. Laidlaw Transit, Inc., 286 Conn. 102 (2008) and Donahue v. Veridiem, Inc., 91 Conn. 537 (2009). CRB also found trier’s denial of claimant’s Motion to Correct constituted error. See also, Volta, § 31-294c(b).

Gamez-Reyes v. Donald F. Biagi, Jr., 5552-CRB-7-10-5 (May 3, 2011). aff’d, remanded in part for articulation on issue of interpreter’s fees, 136 Conn. App. 258 (2012), cert. denied, 306 Conn. 905 (2012).

Claimant injured failing off ladder. Trial commissioner found employee-employer relationship and deemed injury compensable. At hearing, respondent introduced evidence claimant may have consumed beverage from paper bag prior to injury, but no witnesses testified to scent of alcohol or claimant appearing impaired. On appeal, respondent claimed it was “manifest error” as hospital records not introduced as evidence said claimant had some alcohol in bloodstream. Respondent asserted this was proof commissioner lacked jurisdiction. CRB upheld trial commissioner. Respondent should have presented evidence at formal hearing and should not get second chance after losing the hearing. Gibson v. State/Department of Developmental Services-North Region, 5422 CRB-2-09-2 (January 13, 2010). Evidence in question did not prove claimant was legally intoxicated as BAL below standard for drunk driving. Issue of intoxication goes to causation, not jurisdiction. Intoxication is an affirmative defense for respondent and trial commissioner rejected the respondent’s argument. Appellate Court affirmed CRB decision on this issue. See also, Gamez, § 31-275 (16); § 31-284(a); § 31-288; § 31-301 Factual findings.

Nalysnyk v. Slawomir Deja d/b/a Deja Construction, 5528 CRB-2-10-2 (February 4, 2011).

Respondent Second Injury Fund appealed finding of compensability and award of temporary total and temporary partial disability to construction worker who sustained back injury after cutting and carrying wood for uninsured employer. Fund also contended trier failed to determine temporary partial wage rate and argued award of temporary partial benefits waiving job searches pending approved Form 36 constituted deprivation of due process. CRB remanded for determination of temporary partial wage rate and struck order waiving job searches but affirmed balance of decision, holding that medical record supported compensability finding and trier had discretion to credit claimant’s testimony over that of employer and witness. CRB found trier’s language regarding Form 36 recited customary utilization procedure and was not a due process deprivation. CRB affirmed trier’s denial of Motion to Correct despite identifying two harmless errors. See also, Nalysnyk, § 31-275(1), § 31-301. Factual Findings, § 31-301-4, § 31-308(a).

Goulbourne v. State/Department of Correction, 5461 CRB-1-09-5 (May 12, 2010).

Trial commissioner had sufficient evidence to support finding that claimant’s cardiac disease was caused by work-related stress. Under the repetitive trauma standard claim was commenced in timely manner. See also, Goulbourne, § 5-142(a), § 31-294c, § 31-294f, § 31-298, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-301-9. See also, prior decision at Goulbourne v. State/Department of Correction, 5192 CRB-1-07-1 (January 17, 2008).

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 trier’s 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), § 31-294d, § 31-298, § 31-300, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-301-4.

Bode v. Connecticut Mason Contractors, The Learning Corridor, 5423 CRB-3-09-2 (March 3, 2010), aff’d and rev’d in part, 130 Conn. App. 672 (2011), cert. denied, 302 Conn. 942 (2011).

Claimant appealed trier’s dismissal of claims for temporary total disability benefits and compensability of psychiatric disorder allegedly arising from fall in which claimant sustained compensable injuries to lumbar and cervical spine and right master arm. Claimant also appealed determination that he had “demonstrated an unwillingness” to proceed with shoulder surgery and contended trier utilized incorrect standard to assess probative value of medical reports relative to contemplated surgery. CRB affirmed, noting that medical record supported finding claimant had light-duty capacity and was devoid of a report linking claimed psychiatric disorder to compensable back injury. Medical record and testimony by Dr. Barnett supported finding that contemplated shoulder surgery was reasonable and claimant’s testimony at trial demonstrated his continued reluctance to follow through with surgery. Appellate Court affirmed trier’s dismissal of psychiatric claim but reversed dismissal of claim for temporary total disability benefits on basis that trier “summarily disregarded” claimant’s testimony and two vocational reports in reaching his determination that claimant was not temporarily totally disabled. Appellate Court also held that trier’s consideration of claimant’s alleged unwillingness to submit to shoulder surgery relative to his evaluation of claimant’s temporary total disability claim constituted a misapplication of law. See also, Bode, § 31-275 (1), § 31-275 (16) (B) (ii), § 31-294e(b), § 31-301, Factual Findings. § 31-307.

Biasetti v. Stamford, 5320 CRB-7-08-2 (February 19, 2009).

Claimant appealed trial commissioner’s dismissal of claim for benefits for post traumatic stress disorder arising from claimant’s involvement in car chase and gun battle. Claimant also sustained injuries to knee and elbow which respondent accepted. Trier determined claim was controlled by pre July 1, 2005 revision to § 31-275(16)(B)(ii) excluding mental impairments that do not arise from a physical injury or occupational disease and, consistent with our Supreme Court’s holding in Biasetti I, concluded a direct causal relationship must exist between claimed mental impairment and physical injuries sustained by the claimant. Because trier found neither medical evidence nor claimant’s testimony supported such a finding, she dismissed claim. CRB affirmed, citing inter alia the lack of a direct physical assault on claimant and expert testimony that claimant would probably have gone on to develop PTSD irrespective of his physical injuries. See also, Biasetti, § 31-275 (1), § 31-301, Factual findings. § 31-301-4.

Sweet v. Coca Cola Bottling Company, 5262 CRB-1-07-8 (August 27, 2008).

Claimant asserted disc herniation was due to lifting pallets at work. Respondents challenged testimony as inconsistent. Trial Commissioner found treating physician persuasive and found injury compensable, but also stated he thought injury was more likely “repetitive trauma”. Respondents appealed. CRB upheld. While record may not support theory of repetitive trauma injury rather than a single incident, claim was timely under either theory of recovery. If commissioner found claimant credible despite alleged inconsistencies, he was permitted to rely on doctor’s opinion as to causation. See also, Sweet, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-294c.

Strajkowski v. Pratt & Whitney, 5251 CRB-1-07-7 (August 27, 2008).

Claimant asserted rotator cuff injury was due to repetitive trauma at work. Physician ascribed injury to “overhead work”. Evidence was the claimant had engaged in substantial overhead work in prior years, but had not performed much in year prior to accident. Trial Commissioner denied claim as untimely. CRB upheld. Claimant failed in burden of persuasion work activities during year prior to claim were substantial factor in his injury. See also, Strajkowski, § 31-294c, § 31-301. Factual findings.

Veilleux v. Complete Interior Systems, Inc., 5231 CRB-8-07-5 (May 22, 2008).

Claimant filed claim for repetitive trauma neck injury more than one year after last exposure to trauma. Trial Commissioner dismissed claim as untimely. Claimant appealed, asserting Discuillo v. Stone & Webster, 242 Conn. 570 (1997) requires the trial commissioner to reach a specific finding as to whether, for jurisdictional purposes, a repetitive trauma injury “more closely resembles” an accidental injury or an occupational disease. CRB upheld trial commissioner; plain meaning of statute permitting repetitive trauma claims did not include this test. See also, Veilleux, § 31-275(15), § 31-294c.

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, § 31-308(b).

Dzienkiewicz v. State/Dept. of Correction, 5211 CRB-8-07-3 (March 18, 2008), aff’d, 291 Conn. 214 (2009).

Correction officer suffered stroke at home following shift. He sought benefits asserting he was totally disabled due to the stroke and that the stroke was caused due to stress at work. Trial commissioner presented with conflicting medical evidence, and credited evidence stroke was due to non-work related health issues, dismissing claim. Claimant appealed as state Medical Examining Board had granted him a disability pension. CRB upheld trial commissioner. Trial commissioner not obliged to admit Medical Examining Board’s report as evidence or rely on its findings; dismissal of claim not an abuse of discretion. See also Dzienkiewicz, § 31-298, § 31-301. Factual findings.

Goncalves v. Nutmeg Big Brothers/Big Sisters, 5180 CRB-1-07-1 (January 22, 2008).

Claimant asserted she suffered from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome (MCSS) which she asserted was due to work related exposures. Trial commissioner dismissed claim as record indicated claimant had suffered similar aliments prior to employment with respondents and respondent’s expert testified her condition was not causally related to work environment. CRB upheld trial commissioner. See also, Goncalves, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-275(1).

Solonick v. Electric Boat Corporation, 5170 CRB-2-06-12 (January 9, 2008), aff’d, 111 Conn. App. 793 (2008).

Claimant has worked career as engineer at Electric Boat. Upon retirement in 2003, he filed claim asserting that job related stress had caused cardiac problems which occasioned his retirement. Trial commissioner credited respondent’s expert witness and denied claim. CRB upheld dismissal on appeal. See also, Solonick, § 31-275(1), § 31-301. Factual findings.

Brown v. United Technologies Corp./Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Div., 5145 CRB-8-06-10 (October 23, 2007), aff’d, 112 Conn. App. 492 (2009).

Claimant injured while walking around employer’s campus on lunch hour. Trial commissioner found injury was incidental to employment. CRB reversed. Record provided no evidence that the employer obtained a benefit from claimant’s activity; rather claimant undertook fitness regimen for her own benefit. Since record did not demonstrate injury was “incidental” to employment, CRB did not address respondent’s claim the injury fell into the statutory “social/recreational exemption” from compensability. See also, Brown, § 31-275(1).

Mleczko v. Haynes Construction, 5109 CRB-7-06-7 (July 17, 2007), aff’d, 111 Conn. App. 744 (2008).

Claimant was injured crossing public street in downtown Stamford. He alleged his injuries were work-related as he was construction supervisor and said he was traveling between jobsite and office. Respondents alleged he had not returned to job site and had no reason to do so that evening; instead he had left office to eat at an off-site restaurant. Trial commissioner determined injury not job related; as per Anderton v, Wasteway Systems, 91 Conn. App 345 (2005) appellate body must uphold factual finding of whether claimant engaged in social activity at time of injury. See also, Mleczko, § 31-275(1), § 31-301. Factual findings.

Meeker v. Knights of Columbus, 5115 CRB 3-06-7 (July 3, 2007).

Claimant sustained injuries while walking on public highway from employer’s parking lot to her workplace. Trial commissioner rejected respondent’s argument claimant was engaged in social or recreational activity when injured. While claimant parked some time before shift commenced and was on way to meet coworkers at firm cafeteria, trial commissioner concluded she was performing a necessary activity incident to her employment when injured and as per Anderton v. Wasteway Services, 91 Conn. App. 345 (2005) CRB must provide deference to trial commissioner’s factual findings as to whether an activity is social. CRB also concluded claimant had completed her commute when injured and rejected respondent’s argument the “coming and going” rule barred jurisdiction, see Meeker, § 31-275(1), § 31-301. Factual findings.

Greene v. Aces Access, 5114 CRB-3-06-7 (July 2, 2007), aff’d, 110 Conn. App. 648 (2008).

Claimant asserting he suffered disc herniation lifting wheelchair. Trial commissioner credited medical evidence herniation predated date of employment and was not materially worsened by claimed injury. CRB upheld trial commissioner who had sufficient evidence to support dismissal. See also, Greene, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-275(1).

Sullo v. State/Judicial Branch, 4796 CRB-1-04-3, 4831 CRB-1-04-7, 4978 CRB-1-05-7 (September 8, 2006).

Where treating physician stated that physical and mental stress of claimant’s job, including allegation of sexual harassment, caused exacerbation of heart disease, exclusion for mental or emotional impairments did not preclude claim. Board also concluded that stress originated from incidents of job duties rather than a personnel action. See also, Sullo, § 31-275(1), § 31-301(f), § 31-308(b).

Villemaire v. Stamford, 4921 CRB-7-05-2 (May 18, 2006).

Police officer injured in line of duty had subsequent mental collapse. Record reflected career of frequent mental trauma prior to accident. Trial commissioner appropriately applied precedent in Gartrell v. Dept. of Correction, 259 Conn. 28 (2002), to determine that physical injury triggered the subsequent mental injury. Trial commissioner rejected claims for pre-accident PTSD as time-barred. See also, Villemaire, § 31-294c(a), § 31-301. Factual findings.

David v. Beloff Billiards, 4843 CRB-4-04-8 (August 15, 2005).

During gunshot incident, claimant suffered temporary hearing loss and tinnitus, a fall to the floor that resulted in a broken fingernail, and was spattered with a few drops of blood. Claimant subsequently developed post-traumatic stress disorder from this incident. CRB affirmed trier’s finding that the claimant sustained a physical injury sufficient to allow compensation for resultant PTSD, even though no medical treatment was needed for physical symptoms themselves.

Chesler v. Derby, 4823 CRB-4-04-6 (July 15, 2005), aff’d, 96 Conn. App. 207 (2006), cert. denied, 280 Conn. 909 (2006).

Decedent suffered fatal heart attack while attending Board of Education meeting the evening prior to his last day of employment as superintendent of schools. Treating cardiologist testified that stress of meeting was significant contributing factor in decedent’s death. Decedent also had pre-existing hypertension, and history of atrial fibrillations and aortic valve replacement. Trier found heart attack compensable. On review, employer contended that § 31-275(16)(B)(ii) excluded claim because claimant’s heart attack arose from mental or emotional stress. CRB disagreed. Heart attack is physical impairment, while “mental-mental” exception only addresses mental or emotional impairments. Board cited Biasetti v. Stamford, 250 Conn. 65, 79 (1999), in distinguishing cases in which mental stressors give rise to distinct physical injury from cases in which mental ailment produces somatic symptoms that are mere manifestations of stress. In footnote, board noted that § 31-275(16)(B)(iii) exception for mental or emotional impairments arising from personnel actions is also inapplicable for the same reasons (though Appellate Court in affirming relied more on factual finding that stress was not related to a personnel action). CRB went on to find sufficient evidence in record to establish causal connection between decedent’s employment and fatal heart attack. Trier permissibly relied on testimony of witnesses as to stress decedent appeared to be experiencing in response to critical tone of Board meeting, which set backdrop for trier to rely on opinion of treating cardiologist. See also, Chesler, § 31-301. Factual findings.

Bilsky v. Ansonia Copper & Brass, 4703 CRB-5-03-8 (August 23, 2004).

Claimant was accosted and slapped by supervisor, with whom he may have had history of horseplay, based on witness testimony. Claimant proceeded to have supervisor arrested, and became disabled due to acute stress disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Trier found that slap and hypertensive symptoms immediately afterward did not require medical care and did constitute personal injury under § 31-275(16), and dismissed claim as not arising from physical injury. CRB reversed and remanded for further findings, as onset of stress disorder would potentially be compensable if caused by slap and/or hypertension, even though slap itself did not produce much physical damage, and elevated blood pressure may have been transitory. A conclusion was also necessary regarding role of horseplay in incident, if trier believed it was relevant. See also, Bilsky, § 31-284(a).

Walker v. Hartford, 4605 CRB-1-03-1 (December 30, 2003).

CRB affirmed trier’s finding claimant sustained a compensable personal injury when exposed to conjunctivitis at her workplace. See also, Walker, § 52-174. Admissibility of records.

Brown v. State/Dept. of Correction, 4609 CRB-1-03-1 (December 17, 2003), aff’d, 89 Conn. App. 47 (2005), cert. denied, 274 Conn. 914 (2005).

CRB upheld commissioner’s finding claimant’s injury which occurred while playing basketball at a charity event located on respondent’s property was not causally connected to claimant’s employment. See also, Brown, § 31-301-4. Correction of Finding.

Del Toro v. Stamford, 4515 CRB-7-02-4 (March 31, 2003), motion for summary affirmance granted, (A.C. 24150)(July 10, 2003), rev’d, 270 Conn. 532 (2004).

See, Del Toro, § 31-278; also see prior decision at Del Toro, 3731 CRB-7-97-11 (October 22, 1999), rev’d, 64 Conn. App. 1 (2001), cert. denied, 258 Conn. 913 (2001), § 31-294c, See also, Del Toro, infra this section.

Sprague v. Lindon Tree Service, Inc., 4460 CRB-2-01-11 (November 15, 2002), aff’d, 80 Conn. App. 670 (2003).

Compensability may be established without being able to identify precise moment that back injury occurred during the course of a day of physically grueling work, as one may deduce the origin of the injury due to the onset of back pain the following morning. See also, Sprague, § 31-301. Factual findings.

Anderton v. Waste Away, 4435 CRB-4-01-9 (August 12, 2002), rev’d, 91 Conn. App. 345 (2005).

Trier ruled that claimant’s participation in basketball game was not voluntary, and was part of his employment on date of injury. CRB reversed; finding was based upon claimant’s subjective impression that failure to play basketball could have negative consequences, without evidence that employer made any concrete statement or engaged in any act that would lead a reasonable person to think that participation in basketball game was necessary to avoid negative employment-related consequences. Case did not satisfy exceptions to § 31-275(16)(B)(i). Appellate Court reversed in a 2-1 decision, holding that CRB applied too strict a legal standard, resulting in improper substitution of its judgment for that of commissioner. Court stated that employer’s having visited stadium site because of maintenance staff’s poor work performance, having invited plaintiff to play basketball and having scheduled game during work hours, along with employer’s acknowledgement that basketball game was intended to benefit company by boosting employee morale and fostering loyalty, together offered sufficient support for trier’s finding of compensability.

Doe v. State/Dept. of Correction, 4401 CRB-4-01-6 (May 16, 2002).

See, Doe, § 31-294c notes (re: assertion that claimant’s death within two years of last date of employment preserved HIV infection claim under accidental injury theory). See also, Doe, § 31-275(15).

Nunes v. State/Dept. of Motor Vehicles, 4360 CRB-2-01-2 (January 16, 2002).

Claimant suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after being involved in a physical struggle with an armed customer, who eventually shot himself in the face. Later threat from a different customer triggered symptoms of PTSD. CRB affirmed trier’s finding that mental trauma arose from a physical injury, and was therefore compensable under § 31-275(16)(B)(ii). CRB discussed legislative history of P.A. 93-228, § 1, and Driscoll v. General Nutrition Corp., 252 Conn. 215 (2000). Board held that involvement in a serious physical altercation constitutes a physical injury, even if only minor physical trauma is sustained. See also, Nunes, § 31-275(1), § 31-301. Factual findings.

Thompson v. State of Conn./ University of Conn. Health Center, 4355 CRB-8-01-2 (January 15, 2002).

Trier held claimant’s mental injuries non-compensable under § 31-275(16)(B) absent any physical injury. Claimant contended that exclusion of mental injuries in § 31-275(16)(B) is unconstitutional, as it violates her rights under state constitution. CRB declined to consider merits of appeal, as issues concerning the constitutionality of statutes are not justiciable by either a trial commissioner or this board.

Saunders v. UTC/Pratt & Whitney, 4323 CRB-8-00-12 (November 2, 2001).

Claimant argued that post-traumatic stress disorder and alleged brain damage were caused by exposure to toxic gases at workplace. CRB affirmed trier’s dismissal, as medical evidence supported finding that claimant proved neither a harmful chemical exposure nor a physical injury of any kind. CRB noted that perception of stress from abnormal responses to ordinary workplace incidents is not a valid basis for recovery of benefits under Chapter 568, consistent with the rule in most jurisdictions.

Pasquale v. UTC/Pratt & Whitney, 4325 CRB-8-00-12 (November 2, 2001).

CRB affirmed trier’s finding that claimant did not sustain physical injury following alleged toxic exposure to hydrogen sulfide at work. Though much debate centered on whether transitory symptoms such as headaches, nausea and eye irritation constitute physical injuries under statute, potentially making claimant’s post-traumatic stress disorder compensable despite the “mental-mental” exclusion of § 31-275(16)(B)(ii), no objective evidence of toxic gas was found during numerous plant inspections. Trier relied on report of doctor who doubted that claimant was exposed to any harmful toxic gas, and who opined that claimant was incorrectly attributing his anxiety disorder to that alleged physical stimulus.

Franco v. Dependable Motors, Inc. d/b/a Branford Dodge, 4281 CRB-3-00-8 (July 17, 2001).

As record fully supported trier’s determination regarding lack of causation, CRB did not address claimant’s argument that his angina condition constituted a mental-physical injury rather than a mental-mental injury under § 31-275(16)(B)(ii), or whether the claimant’s claim was precluded by § 31-275(16)(B)(iii). See also, Franco, § 31-301. Factual findings.

Smith v. Connecticut Light & Power, 4135 CRB-5-99-10 (March 29, 2001), aff’d, 73 Conn. App. 619 (2002).

Board affirmed trier’s dismissal of “mental-mental” claim that predated 1993 statutory revision. Trier found that claimant was not subjected to stimuli different than those in everyday employment life, but misperceived the actions of his employer as discriminatory, leading to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. CRB discussed “subjective causal nexus standard” rejected by most other states, and addressed Connecticut law in related area of emotional distress in tort. See also, Smith, § 31-275(1).

Kay v. Hubbard-Hall, Inc., 4092 CRB-5-99-7 (October 20, 2000).

CRB affirmed finding that decedent’s myocardial infarction was not compensable where trier found that neither his employment stress nor his activities during an employer sponsored golf outing substantially caused his injury. Issue was one of fact. Board declined to discuss whether § 31-275(16)(B)(i) also bars the claim, and noted that trier did not make a specific finding of fact as to whether the golf outing was an activity “the major purpose of which [was] social or recreational.” Such a finding is necessary to determine whether § 31-275(16)(B)(i) applies. See also, Kay, § 31-275(1), § 31-300.

Burke v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 4037 CRB-2-99-4 (July 11, 2000).

Board affirmed trial commissioner’s determination that claimant sustained a compensable accidental injury when she was exposed to pine and other materials, which caused permanent reactive airways disease/asthma. Panel did not accept respondents’ argument that the claimant’s asthmatic condition, in order to be compensable, must meet the definition of an occupational disease. See also, Burke, § 31-301-4.

Gartrell v. State/Dept. of Correction, 3991 CRB-1-99-3 (March 23, 2000), aff’d, 259 Conn. 29 (2002).

CRB affirmed trier’s conclusion that claimant’s psychiatric condition was compensable, as it was aggravated by a compensable heart condition. Board explained law making employer liable for the sequelae of a compensable injury. Here, the claimant sustained a compensable cardiac condition, which aggravated his pre-existing psychiatric condition. In an earlier decision, the state Supreme Court in Gartrell v. Dept. of Correction, 258 Conn. 137 (2001) remanded the case in order to limit the compensation for the psychiatric condition to that proportion of the disability due to the aggravation of the pre-existing disease that reasonably may be attributable to the work-related injury, as required under § 31-275(1)(D). That decision was later superseded on January 15, 2002, and the CRB was affirmed. See also, Gartrell, § 31-275(1).

Sendra v. Plainville Board of Education, 3961 CRB-6-99-1 (January 20, 2000).

Teacher appealed from trial commissioner’s decision that the injury he suffered during a meeting of the school’s mountain biking club was not compensable. CRB affirmed. Injuries resulting from voluntary participation in social or recreational activities are outside the definition of “personal injury.” The exception in § 31-275(16)(B)(iv) concerning participation in school-sponsored activities was enacted subsequent to the claimant’s injury, and did not retroactively apply to existing cases. See also, Sendra, § 31-301. Factual findings.

Reaves v. Brownstone Construction, 3930 CRB-4-98-11 (November 30, 1999).

See, Reaves, § 31-294c.

Del Toro v. Stamford, 3731 CRB-7-97-11 (October 22, 1999), rev’d, 64 Conn. App. 1 (2001), cert. denied, 258 Conn. 913 (2001).

See, Del Toro, § 31-294c; subsequent decision at Del Toro, 4515 CRB-7-02-4 (March 31, 2003), motion for summary affirmance granted, (A.C. 24150)(July 10, 2003), rev’d, 270 Conn. 532 (2004), § 31-278, See also, Del Toro, supra this section.

Biasetti v. Stamford, 3632 CRB-7-97-6 (September 8, 1998), aff’d, 250 Conn. 65 (1999)(dissenting opinion).

Claimant (a police officer) developed post-traumatic stress disorder after becoming involved in a gun battle with a suspect. He developed headaches, an upset stomach, and a pressure sensation in his leg as well; further, the PTSD led to his suffering a blackout two years later. Trial commissioner ruled that the “personal injury” exclusion for mental or emotional impairments in § 31-275(16)(B)(ii) precludes the claimant’s claim. CRB held that the claimant has not alleged a physical injury in this case, and that his PTSD cannot constitute an occupational disease under the statute because § 31-275(16)(B)(ii) requires that all personal injuries, including occupational diseases, have a physical component, even though the PTSD is intrinsic to the occupation of police officer within the meaning of § 31-275(15). (Vargas, C., DISSENTING) Humanitarian purpose of Act requires a broader reading of the statutory language, which can be read to allow “mental-mental” claims as occupational diseases. Further, the symptoms alleged by the claimant such as headaches and leg pain constitute a physical injury.

O’Day v. New Britain General Hospital, 3580 CRB-6-97-4 (June 5, 1998).

CRB affirmed the trial commissioner’s decision that § 31-275(16)(B)(i) did not bar the claimant’s claim for an injury which occurred while returning to work from a birthday luncheon. Specifically, the trial commissioner found that the claimant’s attendance at the luncheon was not voluntary and that the major purpose of the luncheon was not social.

Sanford v. Clinton Public Schools, 3446 CRB-3-96-10 (March 5, 1998), aff’d, 54 Conn. App. 266 (1999), cert. denied, 251 Conn. 917 (1999).

The “date of injury rule” regarding new legislation applies to claims of repetitive trauma. Where claimant’s alleged mental injury was caused by repetitive trauma and he was not disabled or diagnosed until after July 1, 1993, we will apply P.A. 93-228 (which became effective July 1, 1993). The claimant’s claim for mental injuries was disallowed pursuant to P.A. 93-228, which limited the definition of “personal injury” in § 31-275 C.G.S. so as to exclude a “mental or emotional impairment, unless such impairment arises from a physical injury or occupational disease.”

Reynolds v. Architectural Steel, 3434 CRB-3-96-9 (February 18, 1998).

See, Reynolds, § 31-294c.

Pothier v. Stanley-Bostitch/The Bostitch Company, 3411 CRB-3-96-8 (January 21, 1998).

Claimant was playfully poked in the sides by a co-worker, which apparently aggravated a prior injury and caused him tremendous pain. Trier found that the squeeze was an injury, and ordered the insurer on the risk at that time to pay benefits. CRB affirmed: whether this constituted an injury was a factual decision for the trial commissioner. Epps v. Beiersdorf, 41 Conn. App. 430 (1996), discussed and compared to this case. See also, Pothier, § 31-275(1), § 31-301. Factual findings.

Forster v. Pitney Bowes, 3293 CRB-4-96-3 (November 18, 1997).

No error in trier’s dismissal of psychiatric claim. Although statutory definition of “personal injury” had not yet been amended to exclude “mental-mental” claims at the time of the events at issue here, the law still required proof of causal relationship within a reasonable degree of medical probability. Trier was entitled to credit testimony of doctor who felt that claimant would have “ended up the way he did” regardless of the work incidents mentioned.

Evans v. Shelton, 16 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 155, 3108 CRB-4-95-6 (May 2, 1997), dismissed for lack of a final judgment, A.C. 17196 (January 14, 1998).

No automatic separation between repetitive trauma and occupational disease. Claimant’s asthma could have satisfied either or both definitions, depending on whether her asthma fell within the legal definition of those injuries. Trier did not improperly “fuse” the two definitions. See also, Evans, § 31-275(1), § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-301. Factual findings, notes on Rules of Professional Conduct.

Cunningham v. Stamford, 3112 CRB-7-95-7 (December 16, 1996).

Doctor diagnosed claimant with stress-related vocal disorder. Commissioner found that “spasmodic dysphonia” was a physical impairment, and granted the claimant’s Motion to Preclude because the respondents had failed to file a timely notice to contest. Held, neither party introduced any evidence to establish the nature of spasmodic dysphonia, as all proceedings focused on notice issue. Claimant must adduce evidence sufficient for commissioner to conclude that subject matter jurisdiction over claim exists, including the presence of a personal injury. Reversed and remanded.

Doe v. Stamford, 16 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 32, 2282 CRB-7-95-1 (October 9, 1996), rev’d, 241 Conn. 692 (1997).

The claimant, a police officer, was exposed to two infectious life threatening diseases on separate occasions during the course of employment, but as of the formal hearing had not tested positive for either of the diseases nor had he missed any time from work. The trial commissioner ruled that mere exposure to a disease does not constitute a viable claim under the Workers’ Compensation Act, and the CRB affirmed; (Vargas, C., DISSENTING) The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the claimant did sustain compensable injuries and was entitled to recover expenses for reasonable testing and treatment. The Court explained that it was undisputed that the claimant’s exposures were definitely located as to time and place and occurred during his employment. Section 31-275(16)(A) which defines “injury” does not require a pathological manifestation, and indeed it would be contrary to the humanitarian and remedial purpose of the Act to require that an employee who sustains actual exposure to a potentially fatal infectious disease must await the onset of the disease before he can recover expenses associated with necessary and possibly lifesaving medical intervention.

Troske v. Wolcott View Manor, 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 323, 1687 CRB-5-93-4 (April 26, 1995).

Claimant could not remember specific date of her injury, the injury was reported to her supervisor when it happened and a timely Form 30C was later filed. Held, definition of “accidental injury” in statute is meant to distinguish accidental injuries from repetitive trauma injuries and occupational diseases; “definitely located as to the time when and the place where the accident occurred” does not create a strict jurisdictional barrier. See also, Troske, § 31-294c.

Britt v. Fiskars/Wallace Manufacturing, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 375, 1503 CRB-1-92-9 (August 17, 1994).

Remanded. No findings as to last date of exposure or last date of employment for claim for back injury due to repetitive trauma. See, Seymour v. Bleich, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 312, 1484 CRB-6-92-8 (June 24, 1994). See also, Britt, § 31-294c.

Duncan v. Dow Chemical Company, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 276, 1442 CRB-2-92-6 (June 7, 1994).

Trier’s finding that claimant’s disability i.e. organic brain syndrome, allegedly caused by exposure to chemicals was not the result of a workplace incident supported by evidence. See also, Duncan, § 31-301. Factual findings.

Fusciello v. Ronnie Demeo, Inc., 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 283, 1535 CRB-6-92-10 (June 7, 1994).

See, Fusciello, § 31-275(1) and § 31-307. Subsequent decision at Fusciello, 3406 CRB-8-96-8 (February 4, 1998), § 31-307, § 31-301. Appeal procedure and Fusciello, 4340 CRB-6-01-1 (January 7, 2002), § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-307.

O’Connor v. Connecticut Light & Power Company, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 265, 1536 CRB-8-92-10 (June 2, 1994).

See, O’Connor, § 31-275(1) and § 31-301. Factual findings.

Greenwood v. Perkin Elmer Corporation, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 160, 1517 CRB-7-92-9 (April 26, 1994), aff’d, 39 Conn. App. 907 (1995)(per curiam).

Trier concluded claimant suffered a traumatic brain injury in addition to previously approved back and neck injuries. See also, Greenwood, § 31-301. Factual findings.

Castelvetro v. Gravymaster, Inc., 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 210, 1463 CRB-3-92-7 (March 15, 1994).

See, § 31-275(15), Occupational disease and Fritz v. Gravymaster, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 208, 1462 CRB-3-92-7 (March 15, 1994).

DeLucia v. Modena, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 212, 1471 CRB-3-92-7 (March 15, 1994).

Hairdresser sustained right shoulder injury due to repetitive trauma caused by years of employment in the same profession. See also, DeLucia, § 31-299b and § 31-301. Appeal procedure.

Fritz v. Gravymaster, Inc., 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 208, 1462 CRB-3-92-7 (March 15, 1994).

See, Fritz, § 31-275(15).

Martinez v. Connecticut Rental Center, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 115, 1437 CRB-8-92-6 (February 28, 1994).

Evidence supports finding that claimant’s pre-existing lower back injury was aggravated by continuous daily heavy lifting which constituted repetitive trauma. Respondent insurer was liable for period during which claimant did heavy lifting even though claimant did not exhibit any symptoms at that time.

Spindler v. Med-Center Home Health Center, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 130, 1474 CRB-7-92-7 (February 28, 1994).

See also, Spindler, § 31-275(1).

Nolan v. Brennan Concrete Corporation, 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 224, 1362 CRD-7-91-12 (November 4, 1993), dismissed for lack of final judgment, A.C. 13041 (January 5, 1994).

See, Nolan, § 31-275(1) and § 31-284(a).

Hall v. McLean Home, 6 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 80, 577 CRD- 5-87 (January 9, 1989).

Remanded for articulation of precise theory of liability; several specific incidents or the result of repetitive trauma.

Leary v. A & P Groceries, 6 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 76, 582 CRD-5-87 (January 5, 1989).

Remanded for further hearings on possibility of repetitive trauma.

Henderson v. Brink’s Inc., 5 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 115, 466 CRD-4-86 (June 21, 1988).

Claimant awarded benefits for work related stress.

Boutin v. Industrial Components, 4 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 19, 237 CRD-6-83 (March 3, 1987).

Granted award for carpal tunnel syndrome. See also, Boutin, § 31-294c.

Zipoli v. Watertown, 3 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 23, 215 CRD-5-83 (January 17, 1986).

Mental disability held compensable.

Gecewicz v. Sealtest Foods Div., 1 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 195, 77 CRD-1-81 (October 21, 1982).

Heart attack while in the course of employment does not require unusual activity or exertion.

Cable v. Torrington Special Products, 1 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 168, 82 CRD-5-81 (August 18, 1982).

Rotator cuff tear was result of repetitive trauma.

Cortes v. Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corp., 1 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 173, 61 CRD-3-81 (August 18, 1982).

Lung cancer causally connected to asbestos exposure held compensable.

Moore v. West Haven, 1 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 103, 31 CRD-3-80 (January 25, 1982).

Police officer whose heart attack was the result of exposure to severe weather and work-related emotional stress awarded benefits.

McGrath v. New London, 1 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 32, 14 CRD-2-80 (May 14, 1981), aff’d, 38 Conn. Sup. 324 (1982).

Claimant failed to meet burden of proof in alleging compensability of neurosis.

Donato v. Pantry Pride, 1 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 21, 2 CRD-4-79 (January 26, 1981), aff’d, 37 Conn. Sup. 836 (1981).

Heart attack brought on by job-related stress held compensable.


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