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CRB Case Annotations re: Section 31-278



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.

Nielsen v. MNS Therrien Construction Company, 6040 CRB-1-15-10 (July 21, 2016).

Claimant had executed full & final stipulation of his claim which included an annuity held by third party insurer which paid monthly payments. Claimant said he had understood he could liquidate annuity for lump sum if necessary, but terms of annuity barred liquidation. He sought commission approval to order annuity liquidated, arguing there was a mutual mistake of fact at stipulation approval. Trial commissioner did not find mutual mistake, and further found lack of jurisdiction over insurer. CRB affirmed, citing Stickney v. Sunlight Construction Inc., 248 Conn. 754 (1999) and noting insurer paying annuity had no privity with the employer and was not an “insurer” under § 31-342 C.G.S. See also, Nielsen, § 31-315.

Melendez v. Fresh Start General Remodeling and Contracting, LLC, 6001 CRB-2-15-4 (June 10, 2016), appeal pending AC 39373.

Respondent, found liable in his individual capacity for injuries sustained by claimant in motor vehicle accident, challenged finding that claimant was his employee and contended he was deprived of his constitutional right to due process because he was not afforded reasonable notice that he was potentially liable for workers’ compensation benefits in his individual capacity. CRB affirmed, noting that testimony offered by both claimant and respondent provided reasonable basis for conclusion that claimant satisfied definition of employee per § 31-275(9)(A)(i) C.G.S. given that respondent had authority to direct means and order of work performed by claimant and, by providing transportation to job site, had significant control over the claimant’s schedule. Evidentiary record also supported trier’s conclusions that claimant was regularly employed by respondent to work more than twenty-six hours a week and claimant was not merely a casual employee. CRB rejected respondent’s assertion that he was deprived of due process, noting that claimant had deliberately served Form 30C on respondent in his individual capacity, respondent disregarded repeated recommendations to obtain counsel, and trier had granted respondent’s Motion to Vacate and allowed respondent additional time to file a brief before closing record and issuing second Finding and Award. See also, Melendez, § 31-275(9); § 31-275(10); § 31-298; § 31-301 Factual findings.

Lionetti v. Paul G. Messineo, L.L.C., 6207 CRB-7-17-7 (June 7, 2019), appeal pending, A.C. 43112 (June 27, 2019).

CRB reversed denial of medical treatment, noting that commissioner misstated “reasonable or necessary” medical treatment standard, pursuant to § 31-294d, as “reasonable and necessary” and denied three-level fusion on basis that medical evidence demonstrated recommended surgery was reasonable but not necessary. CRB affirmed decision to allow RME after commencement of formal proceedings and denial of claimant’s second motion for extension of time to file motion to correct on basis that §§ 31-278 and 31-298 afford commissioners wide discretion relative to conduct of hearings and submission of evidence. CRB declined to reach claim of error alleging deprivation of due process arising from denial of opportunity for claimant to submit rebuttal evidence following RME. CRB affirmed denial of deduction from respondents’ moratorium certain medical expenses and costs associated with claimant’s bankruptcy filing, noting that claimant failed to establish that said expenses and costs constituted “reasonable and necessary expenditures” as contemplated by § 31-293 (a). CRB affirmed denial of motion to correct, noting that proposed corrections reiterated arguments made at trial which were ultimately unavailing. CRB denied respondents’ motion to dismiss given that motion was not filed until after expiration of ten-day deadline which began to run when claimant failed to timely file her reasons for appeal. CRB found respondents waived any alleged defect and failed to demonstrate that claimant’s late filing had prejudiced their ability to defend claim. See also, Lionetti, § 31-293, § 31-294d, § 31-298, § 31-301 Factual findings, § 31-301-2, § 31-301-4.

Raphael v. Connecticut Ballet, Inc., 5985 CRB-7-15-2 (December 10, 2015).

Self-represented claimant, who appeared both individually and as president of respondent employer, appealed findings relative to compensability and apportionment of medical and indemnity expenses for series of knee injuries commencing March 1987. CRB vacated findings regarding apportionment and compensability of right knee injury on basis that findings went beyond scope of inquiry as identified by trier. CRB reversed and remanded findings attributing need for surgery to left knee injury of January 2012 as findings were inconsistent with medical evidence in record. CRB rejected claim that trier failed to properly advise claimant regarding inherent conflict of interest arising from claimant’s decision to appear as both claimant and employer’s representative, noting that provisions of neither § 31-278 C.G.S. nor § 31-298 C.G.S. impose upon trial Commissioner an obligation to advise self represented claimant. CRB did find problematic circumstances surrounding claimant’s withdrawal of claim for March 1, 1987 injury and remanded for additional findings relative to whether medical care furnished to claimant following March 1987 injury sufficed to bring claimant within “exceptions” to § 31-294c C.G.S. CRB also found denial of proposed corrections erroneous insofar as denial was inconsistent with CRB analysis. See also, Raphael, § 31-275(1), § 31-294c, § 31-298, § 31-301. Factual Findings.

Quinones v. RW Thompson Company, Inc., 5953 CRB-6-14-7 (July 29, 2015), appeal pending AC 38256.

Claimant appealed denial of Motion to Preclude by trial commissioner who conducted additional formal hearings after trier who had presided over initial formal hearing passed away. Claimant challenged second trial commissioner’s authority to reopen formal hearing and also claimed as error trier’s denial of Motion to Preclude given that respondents never filed Form 43 or voluntary agreement. CRB affirmed, holding that Supreme Court’s directive in Stevens v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co., 29 Conn. App. 378 (1992), and provisions of §§ 31-278, 31-282 and 31-298 C.G.S. afforded trier ample discretion to reopen formal hearing and take additional evidence. CRB also found that because evidentiary record indicated claimant had been paid medical and indemnity benefits following date of injury continuing until Form 36 was approved, trier could have reasonably inferred that respondents never contested claim and were under no obligation to file Form 43. CRB rejected claimant’s contention that respondents’ failure to file voluntary agreement provided basis for preclusion, noting that provisions of § 31-294c(b) C.G.S. do not refer to voluntary agreements and provisions of § 31-296 C.G.S. and Admin. Reg. 31-296-1 C.G.S. identify penalty for non-compliance as sanctions per § 31-288 C.G.S. See also, Quinones, § 31-294c(b); § 31-296; § 31-298.

Summers v. R R Donnelley Printing Company, 5914 CRB-1-14-2 (February 26, 2015).

Trial commissioner found claimant sustained compensable injury but prior to hearing any evidence, said he would be hard pressed to find respondents engaged in undue delay or unreasonable contest. Claimant sought recusal of trial commissioner and appealed decision of commissioner not to recuse himself. CRB affirmed commissioner on this issue. Case cannot be distinguished from Martinez-McCord v. State/Judicial Branch, 5647 CRB-7-11-4 (August 1, 2012). Alleged source of bias was information within record of the case which does not support recusal. See also, Summers, § 31-288; § 31-298; § 31-300.

Hatcher v. State of Connecticut/UConn Health Center, 5903 CRB-1-13-12 (January 22, 2015).

CRB concluded that the hearings resulting in the trier’s decision were in accord with due process. See also, Hatcher, § 31-275(1); § 31-294f; § 31-297; § 31-298; § 31-301 Factual findings and § 31-301 Appeal Procedure.

Johnson v. Heartland Express, Inc., 5861 CRB-2-13-7 (December 22, 2014).

Claimant was interstate truck driver for out-of-state truck firm injured while working in New Jersey. He filed for Connecticut benefits asserting that CT had a significant interest in his employee-employer relationship. Respondents argued that his employment hub was in Carlisle, PA and based on Burse v. American International Airways, Inc., 262 Conn. 31 (2002) asserted CT lacked jurisdiction. Claimant noted he parked truck at CT residence on weekend to facilitate delivery schedules and stated amount of employment activity within CT was sufficient to create jurisdiction under standards in Jaiguay v. Vasquez, 287 Conn. 323 (2008) and Cleveland v. U.S. Printing Ink, Inc., 218 Conn. 181 (1991). Trial commissioner found jurisdiction and CRB affirmed, relying on standards delineated by the Appellate Court in Springer v. J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc., 145 Conn. App. 805 (2013). See also, Johnson, § 31-301 Factual findings.

Reid v. Sheri A. Speer d/b/a Speer Enterprises, LLC, 5818 CRB-2-13-1 (January 28, 2014).

Respondent argued that trial commissioner should have recused himself for bias. CRB found that pursuant to precedent respondent did not have meritorious argument for recusal. See also, Reid, § 31-275(9); § 31-275(10); § 31-294c; § 31-298; § 31-301 Appeal procedure; § 31-301 Factual findings.

Murray v. Stratford, 5812 CRB-4-12-12 (December 11, 2013).

CRB affirmed trial commissioner’s conclusion she lacked the requisite subject matter jurisdiction necessary to award a penalty for late payment pursuant to § 31-303. The late payment was claimed on the basis of the respondent’s failure to comply with a provision in a Stipulation stating how the claimant’s retirement benefits would be calculated. The method for computing retirement benefits was a matter of collective bargaining and thus, the trier was without jurisdiction to order a late payment penalty pursuant to § 31-303. See also, Murray, § 31-296; § 31-303.

Kinsey v. World Pac, 5783 CRB-7-12-10 (September 17, 2013).

Claimant sought sanctions for undue delay in respondent making payments and providing COLA adjustments. Trial commissioner awarded claimant’s counsel award under § 31-300 C.G.S. for time spent prior to informal hearing wherein respondents offered to pay sanctions to settle dispute. Claimant appealed claiming commissioner should have recused herself and demanded trial de novo. CRB affirmed decision. Trial commissioner has broad latitude under statute to manage proceedings and consider evidence. See also, Kinsey, § 31-288; § 31-298; § 31-300; § 31-327.

Lee v. Empire Construction Special Projects, LLC, 5751 CRB-2-12-5 (August 8, 2013);

Michaelson v. Empire Construction Special Projects, LLC, 5752 CRB-2-12-5 (August 8, 2013).

Claimants injured at CT jobsite while working for MA contractor. Insurance carrier challenged CT jurisdiction over claimant’s injury, alleging insufficient nexus between CT and employment relationship. CRB affirmed finding of jurisdiction. Michaelson was CT resident injured while employed in CT. While Lee was RI resident, entirety of his employment relationship with Empire as of date of accident had been while working in CT. Discussion of precedent in Healey v. Hawkeye Construction, LLC., 124 Conn. App. 215 (2010) and Baron v. Genlyte Thomas Group, LLC., 132 Conn. App. 794 (2012) indicated reasonable to find CT had significant relationship to employment relationship. Insurance carrier, which was MA firm, also attacked finding CT had jurisdiction over it, citing Park v. Choi, 46 Conn. App. 596 (1997). CRB distinguished that case on the facts; in this case carrier had issued a specific endorsement to cover extraterritorial risk. See also, Lee/Michaelson, § 31-275 (9); § 31-286; § 31-288; § 31-342; § 31-343.

Morales v. City of Bridgeport, 5750 CRB-4-12-5 (April 29, 2013).

Claimant argued that trial commissioner should have followed an alleged “past practice” and awarded him full pay while out on disability. Respondents argued that statute cited by claimant (§ 31-314) governed only advanced payments and requested relief was unavailable under Chapter 568, therefore no jurisdiction to make award. Trial commissioner agreed with respondents. On appeal, CRB upheld dismissal due to “plain meaning” of § 31-314. See also, Morales, § 31-314.

Iorlano v. Electric Boat Co., 5754 CRB-2-12-5 (April 29, 2013).

Claimant hired originally by EB, left their employ, and was rehired in 1977 at their CT facility. In 1978 claimant reassigned to Rhode Island shipyard where he worked until retirement in 1991. Claimant was never a CT resident, but asserted his having been hired in CT conferred CT jurisdiction over his claim. Trial commissioner found CT jurisdiction as a result of executing employment contract in CT. On appeal, CRB remanded matter. Precedent in Baron v. Genlyte Thomas Group, LLC., 132 Conn. App. 794 (2012) reiterates the principle that jurisdiction requires “a showing of a significant relationship between Connecticut and either the employment contract or the employment relationship.” Id., 801. (Emphasis in original.) Trial commissioner directed to determine if execution of the 1977 contract created a significant relationship. See also, Iorlano, § 31-299b.

Snyder v. Gladeview HealthCare Center, 5735 CRB-8-12-2 (February 27, 2013).

Claimant and respondent agreed to stipulated settlement of claim for fixed sum and claimant executed agreement, but died prior to respondent executing agreement or Commissioner approving settlement. Respondent withdrew approval and trial commissioner refused to approve settlement without their consent. Claimant’s counsel argued O’Neil v. Honeywell, Inc., 66 Conn. App. 332 (2001) required commissioner to approve settlement. CRB disagreed and affirmed commissioner. Agreement in O’Neil distinguished as it was fully executed by all parties while claimant was alive. Case more similar to Secola v. State/Comptroller’s Office, 3102 CRB-5-95-6 (February 26, 1997) and Drozd v. State/DMR, 5158 CRB-5-06-11 (October 19, 2007) where respondent withdrew approval before trial commissioner could approve agreement. Schiano v. Bliss Exterminating Co., 260 Conn. 21 (2002) stands for proposition agreements are ineffective until approved by a trial commissioner. See also, Snyder, § 31-296.

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. Trial commissioner concluded medical evidence she found credible and persuasive did not establish claimant had RSD, and that claimant had a work capacity. Claimant appealed, arguing she had moved for trial commissioner to recuse herself at start of the hearing, and this motion should have been granted. Claimant argued that as same trial commissioner had heard case in Martinez-McCord v. State/Judicial Branch, 5275 CRB-7-07-9 (September 12, 2008) commissioner had biased view of claimant’s credibility. CRB affirmed Finding and Dismissal. Precedent disfavors recusal of workers’ compensation commissioners and leaves it to their discretion to ascertain if they believe they have a personal bias in a case. Knowledge from a earlier proceeding does not require recusal under CT law (see State v. Rizzo 303 Conn. 71 (2011)) unless circumstances are “extreme or unusual.” Review of findings indicates trial commissioner reached conclusions entirely consistent with commissioner’s examiner in case; hence, decision well founded. See also, Martinez-McCord, § 31-294d; § 31-298; § 31-301 Factual findings; § 31-307; § 31-308(b).

Leonetti v. MacDermid, Inc., 5623 CRB-5-11-1 (March 19, 2012).

Respondent employer appealed trier’s determination that termination agreement signed by claimant purporting to release workers’ compensation claim release was unenforceable in workers’ compensation forum. Trier also concluded claimant received no consideration for release of workers’ compensation claim. Record indicated subject agreement was never presented to trial commissioner for approval and employer ultimately instructed claimant to sign agreement or forfeit severance package. CRB affirmed, noting that claimant and his counsel had attempted unsuccessfully to persuade respondent employer to remove release language from agreement and respondent employer declined to send representative to informal hearing scheduled to address whether provision regarding release of workers’ compensation claim was enforceable absent trial commissioner approval. CRB also held that claimant’s testimony regarding his understanding of method by which respondent employer generally calculated severance packages provided adequate basis for trier’s inference that claimant was not paid consideration for release of workers’ compensation claim. CRB denied respondent employer’s Motion to Submit Additional Evidence on basis that proposed testimony of claimant’s supervisor could have been provided during proceedings below. See also, Leonetti, § 31-290; § 31-296; § 31-298; § 31-301-9.

Lamothe v. Citibank, N.A., 5550 CRB-8-10-5 (October 12, 2011).

Claimant appealed Finding and Award in which trial commissioner declined to enter written award of compensability following respondents’ proffer of voluntary agreement. Claimant also appealed trial’s failure to sanction respondents for unreasonable contest. Respondents moved for dismissal of claim on grounds of untimely filing of Reasons of Appeal. CRB denied motion for dismissal noting that respondents had filed motion for dismissal after ten-day period following expiration of claimant’s deadline and had failed to show prejudice because of claimant’s late filing. CRB affirmed trial commissioner on all grounds. Issuance of approved voluntary agreement does not confer upon trier obligation to find compensability; nor does it constitute a judicial admission. Claimant had opportunity to challenge terms of voluntary agreement in formal proceedings. CRB also held that claimant’s medical history, lack of medical causation report, and circumstances surrounding claimant’s injury, including claimant’s failure to inform her supervisors of the workplace incident, provided adequate support for trier’s determination that respondents did not engage in an unreasonable contest of claim. Trier could reasonably infer that respondents’ failure to produce a witness following a trial commissioner’s order likewise did not constitute unreasonable delay in light of respondents’ initial request for a protective order, claimant counsel’s failure to coordinate deposition scheduling with respondents’ counsel, and witness’s inability to appear because of illness. Respondents’ failure to answer discovery request relative to attendance reports did not compel trier to draw an adverse inference, particularly as respondents’ defense was not solely predicated on claimant’s attendance on date of injury. See also, Lamothe, § 31-296; § 31-300; § 31-301. Appeal Procedure, § 31-301-2; § 31-301-9.

Springer v. J.B. Hunt Transport, 5573 CRB-5-10-07 (October 19, 2011), rev’d and remanded, 145 Conn. App. 805(2013).

Claimant is dependent spouse of interstate truck driver who died in out-of-state truck accident. She argued that although spouse was based in Virginia, his work activities in Connecticut were substantial enough to confer Connecticut jurisdiction, citing Cleveland v. U.S. Printing Ink, 218 Conn. 182 (1991) and Jaiguay v. Vasquez, 287 Conn. 323 (2008). Trial commissioner did not find Connecticut activities sufficiently significant to confer jurisdiction. CRB upheld dismissal. Decedent’s relationship with respondent in state of Connecticut in this case far less than relationship in Zolla v. John Cheeseman Trucking, Inc., 5261 CRB 5-07-8 (August 4, 2008). Trial commissioner free to accept either claimant or respondent’s methodology to calculate relative level of work activity in Connecticut; as a matter of law this level was not sufficient to be mandated as “significant”. On appeal, Appellate Court determined trial commissioner did not sufficiently consider facts relevant to whether decedent’s contacts with CT were “significant”; remanded matter for new factual findings. See also, Springer, § 31-301 Factual findings; § 31-306.

Oliveira v. Braga Painting, 5533 CRB-7-10-3 (April 7, 2011).

Claimant, found to have sustained compensable injury under 2005 Finding and Award, did not receive benefits until 2007 Finding and Award in which trier determined liability rested with principal employer. On appeal CRB reversed principle employer finding and subsequently trial commissioner ordered Second Injury Fund to pay claimant amount equal to benefits paid by principal employer pending appeal and ordered claimant to reimburse principal employer for benefits received plus ten percent annual interest. Fund appealed, arguing that principal employer’s reimbursement request constituted an equitable subrogation claim over which trial commissioner lacked jurisdiction as such claims are barred by sovereign immunity. Fund also argued that trier’s refusal to allow fund’s investigator to offer evidence at trial constituted denial of due process. Claimant cross-appealed trier’s award of interest to principal employer. CRB determined that various provisions of Workers’ Compensation Act conferred jurisdiction upon trier and affirmed payment orders to fund and claimant but reversed interest award to principal employer as claimant had not been denied compensation. CRB affirmed trier’s refusal to allow fund’s witness to testify noting that fund had participated fully in prior litigation and CRB decision reversing principal employer finding did not render issue ripe for additional proceedings. CRB affirmed trier’s denial of fund’s Motion to Correct but found erroneous trier’s denial of claimant’s Motion to Correct. See also, Oliveira, § 31-298, § 31-301(f), § 31-301(g), § 31-301-4, § 31-315, § 31-355(b).

Estate of Andrew Baron v. Genlyte Thomas Group, LLC, 5481 CRB-7-09-7 (August 11, 2010), aff’d, 132 Conn. App. 794 (2012).

Claimant, the estate of a Connecticut resident who sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident in New York while en route to a business meeting at his employer’s headquarters in New Jersey, appealed trier’s dismissal of claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Although claimant presented evidence attesting to existence of a residential home office, claimant’s decedent had been a salesperson whose assigned territories were in New York. Trier ultimately determined that claimant had failed to show a significant relationship between Connecticut and the employment relationship consistent with the three pronged test set forth in Cleveland v. U.S. Printing Ink, Inc., 218 Conn. 181 (1991) and Burse v. American International Airways, Inc., 262 Conn. 31 (2002). CRB affirmed, rejecting claimant’s argument that Jaiguay v. Vasquez, 287 Conn. 323 (2008), which assessed merits of a lawsuit filed in Connecticut pursuant to § 31-293a C.G.S. (“exclusivity provision”), set forth an “expansion” of Cleveland test which trier failed to apply. See also, Baron, § 31-293a, § 31-301. Factual findings.

Jamieson v. State/Military Dept., 5471 CRB-1-09-6 (June 16, 2010), aff’d, 132 Conn. App. 225 (2011).

Claimant employed as fireman for state military department and also was employed by Air National Guard. Claimant developed atrial fibrillation diagnosed on September 5, 2006 and had subsequent cardiac event September 10, 2006 during Guard drills. Claimant filed against state employer for injury under § 5-145a C.G.S. and state challenged claim asserting he was a federal employee. CRB upheld award. Record indicated claimant spent vast majority of time working for state employer and respondent did not offer terms of “lent federal employee” agreement into evidence. Diagnosis of compensable ailment occurred prior to event while in federal employ. Respondent made admission claimant covered by § 5-145a C.G.S. Precedent does not require claimant to adjudicate possible federal benefits prior to obtaining state award, apportionment can occur at later date. Appellate Court affirmed decision on appeal. See also, Jamieson, § 5-142a, § 5-145a, § 31-294c, § 31-301. Factual Finding.

Burns v. Wal Mart Stores, Inc., 5343 CRB-7-08-5 (March 23, 2009).

See Burns § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-301. Factual findings.

Healey v. Hawkeye Construction, 5336 CRB-2-08-4 (February 26, 2009).

Claimant injured working in Florida for NY based employer. Trial commissioner found no Connecticut jurisdiction although contract offer formed via phone call to claimant at Connecticut residence; this was not deemed a “significant” relationship with the contract. CRB upheld; commissioner followed precedent in Burse v. American International Airways, Inc., 262 Conn. 31 (2002); contract offer alone does not create a significant relationship extending jurisdiction to Connecticut.

Zolla v. John Cheeseman Trucking, 5261 CRB-5-07-8 (August 4, 2008), appeal dismissed, A.C. 30251 (March 5, 2009).

Claimant was interstate truck driver employed by Ohio firm who suffered heart attack on the job in New Jersey. Respondent failed to file disclaimer within statutory timeline to contest claim filed in Connecticut. At formal hearing respondents argued claimant’s exclusive remedy was in Ohio based on agreement when hired, and that Connecticut lacked minimum contacts to create jurisdiction. Trial commissioner found on the facts Connecticut had a sufficient relationship to claimant’s employment to confer jurisdiction over injury: claimant worked out of respondent’s terminal in Connecticut. Trial commissioner further found respondent’s argument on contractual choice of forum was an untimely affirmative defense which was now precluded. CRB upheld on appeal. Recent case of Jaiguay v. Vasquez, 287 Conn. 323 (2008) sets forth test over Connecticut jurisdiction which is consistent with facts found by the commissioner; facts inconsistent with Burse v. American International Airways, Inc., 262 Conn. 31 (2002) relied on by the respondents. “Due process” argument unmeritorious; respondent’s contacts with Connecticut met standard in International Shoe v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310 (1945). “Exclusive remedy” defense does not go to subject matter of this commission and has to be advanced seasonably under Connecticut law. Reiner, Reiner & Bendett P.C. v. Cadle Co., 278 Conn. 92 (2006). U.S. Supreme Court precedent Crider v. Zurich Ins. Co. 380 U.S. 39 (1965) inconsistent with finding exclusive Ohio jurisdiction. See also Zolla, § 31-290, § 31-294c, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-301. Appeal procedure.

Liebel v. Stratford, 5070 CRB-4-06-3 (May 17, 2007).

See Liebel, § 31-312 (where claimant received salary continuation payments during period of total disability under collective bargaining agreement, commission lacked jurisdiction to interpret contract or determine what was owed claimant beyond amounts due under chapter 568).

Gerte v. Logistec Connecticut, Inc., 5086 CRB-3-06-5, 5116 CRB-3-06-7 (April 27, 2007).

Respondent appealed order of benefits following remand to trial commissioner in accordance with decision in Gerte v. Logistec of CT, 4820 CRB-3-04-6 (June 24, 2005), dismissed for lack of final judgment, 283 Conn. 60 (2007), (Gerte I). Respondent’s appeal continues to assert want of jurisdiction. CRB upheld award, reaffirming Gerte I. CRB distinguished this matter from DiBlase v. Logistec of CT., 4896 CRB-4-04-12 (January 19, 2006) as there had been no contested hearing establishing the jurisdictional fact of subject matter jurisdiction in the DiBlase case. As in Christensen v. Logsitec Connecticut, 4961 CRB-3-05-6 (February 23, 2007), public policy supports leaving this judgment undisturbed. CRB also upheld order under § 31-301(f) for payment pending appeal. See also, Gerte, § 31-301(f).

Christensen v. Logistec Connecticut, Incorporated, 4961 CRB-3-05-6 (February 23, 2007).

CRB reversed commissioner’s dismissal of claim on the basis of lack of jurisdiction. While injury may have occurred on navigable waters while claimant was engaged in a maritime activity and jurisdiction arguably exists under the federal Longshore Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, respondent cannot assert a defense based on lack of jurisdiction where it entered into a stipulation for the purpose of fully and finally compromising the claim and where, at the time that it entered into the stipulation, the respondent was fully aware that a jurisdictional question existed.

Austin v. State/Dept. of Correction, 5014 CRB-8-5-11 (November 8, 2006).

See, Austin, § 31-294c (Commission has subject matter jurisdiction over notice of claim for accidental injury occurring “sometime between Approximately 01/02/2001 12/20/2001.”)

Muniz v. Allied Community Resources, Inc., 5025 CRB 5-05-11 (November 1, 2006).

Personal care assistant injured while working at home of disabled client. State funded aide’s employment, and regulations limited employment to less than 26 hours per week. Trial Commissioner found injury covered under the Act; CRB reversed. Claimant’s employment fell within exception to coverage for part time household workers, so Commission had no jurisdiction over the injury. See also, Muniz, § 31-275(9); § 31-275(10).

Chambers v. General Dynamics Corp./Electric Boat Division, 4952 CRB-8-05-6 (June 7, 2006).

Commission lacked jurisdiction over § 31-306 claim when notice of claim for Chapter 568 benefits not filed until after employee’s death, and years after claim would have accrued. Notice filed under federal Longshore Act two decades earlier inadequate to preserve claim as per Buck v. General Dynamics Corp./Electric Boat Division, 3324 CRB-2-96-4 (January 21, 1998). See also, Chambers, § 31-294c, § 31-306.

Rigoulot v. Wallingford, 4874 CRB-8-04-10 (March 14, 2006), appeal dismissed, A.C. 27533 (June 15, 2006).

Claimant was entitled to concurrent employment benefits while receiving compensation under § 7-433c, but municipality was not entitled to reimbursement from Second Injury Fund because statute does not authorize payment from Fund for claims external to the Workers’ Compensation Act. Form 44 orders previously entered against Fund were void from outset, having been issued without proper statutory authority. This jurisdictional issue could be raised notwithstanding belated appeals, and Fund was entitled to seek restitution from respondent for sums paid pursuant to Form 44 orders. See also, Rigoulot, § 31-310 (orders against Fund are void ab initio, and error is a jurisdictional issue), § 7-433c.

DiBlase v. Logistec of CT., Inc., 4896 CRB-4-04-12 (January 19, 2006).

Longshoreman appeals denial of state workers’ compensation benefits. Trial Commissioner determined injuries occurred while claimant was working aboard ship in navigable waters, hence jurisdiction for claim exclusively federal. Execution of voluntary agreement cannot overcome lack of subject matter jurisdiction. CRB upheld trial commissioner. While a review of recent appellate decisions indicate many courts are limiting the precedent of Southern Pacific Co. v. Jensen, 244 U.S. 205 (1917), the companion state case of Leszcymski v. Radel Oyster Co., 102 Conn. 511 (1925), finding no state jurisdiction over navigable waters is still controlling law in Connecticut and must be followed.

Sachatello v. Montville, 4869 CRB-8-04-10 (September 6, 2005).

CRB remanded case back to trier to conduct proceedings regarding whether an agreement for additional compensation existed that gave rise to this commission’s jurisdiction. CRB identified lack of clarity as to nature of specific payments claimant sought to enforce.

Vetre v. State/Dept. of Children & Families, 4848 CRB-6-04-8 (August 19, 2005).

CRB affirmed trier’s decision not to disqualify himself where trier had presided over prior informal hearings on different issue. See also, Vetre, § 31-298, § 31-300, § 31-301-9, § 31-307a.

Coppola v. Logistec of CT., Inc., 4781 CRB-3-04-2 (June 24, 2005).

CRB affirmed commissioner’s dismissal of claim on the basis of lack of jurisdiction. Injury occurred on navigable waters and jurisdiction was with the federal Longshore Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.

Gerte v. Logistec of CT., Inc., 4820 CRB-3-04-6 (June 24, 2005).

CRB reversed commissioner’s dismissal of claim on the basis of lack of jurisdiction. While injury occurred on navigable waters while claimant was engaged in a maritime activity and jurisdiction arguably existed with the federal Longshore Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, prior adjudication in which a commissioner concluded jurisdiction existed under Chapter 568 and from which no appeal was taken was a final judgment. Re-litigation of jurisdictional question not consistent with collateral estoppel principles.

Doe v. State/Dept. of Correction, 4841 CRB-4-04-8 (June 7, 2005).

CRB affirmed trial commissioner’s decision to recuse himself from determination of compensability on remand, following Supreme Court decision reversing original decision of trial commissioner. Claimant was not required to adhere to Practice Book § 1-23 in moving to disqualify, and trier was not required to disclose basis for self-disqualification. Prior decision in Doe, 4401 CRB-4-01-6 (May 16, 2002), rev’d, 268 Conn. 753 (2004), cited at § 31-275(15), § 31-275(16), § 31-294c.

Kirilenko v. State/Dept. of Children & Families, 4790 CRB-8-04-3 (April 13, 2005).

Trial commissioner went beyond statutory jurisdiction by ordering third-party administrator to reimburse subsequent third-party administrator for penalty paid pursuant to § 31-295(c). Use of TPAs is not mandated by Workers’ Compensation Act, and contracts by employers or insurers with TPAs are not regulated by the Act. Commission lacks jurisdiction over respondent’s contract with either TPA. Thus, trier could not order one TPA to reimburse another TPA based upon the provisions of those contracts.

Byrd v. Bechtel/Fusco, 4656 CRB-2-03-4 (July 14, 2004), aff’d, 90 Conn. App. 641 (2005), cert. denied, 276 Conn. 919 (2005).

See, Byrd, § 31-279(c), § 31-280. Subsequent decision at Byrd, 4765 CRB-2-03-12 (December 17, 2004), § 31-279(c), § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-301. Factual findings.

Audi v. Blakeslee Arpaia Chapman, 4624 CRB-3-03-12, 4311 CRB-3-00-1 (February 10, 2004).

Trial commissioner did not have authority to levy sanctions and penalties under § 31-288 and § 31-300 against third-party administrator rather than self-insured employer, even though culpable conduct was that of administrator’s employee. No separate jurisdiction over administrator in workers’ compensation forum. Law permits principal to assume responsibility for negligent or unauthorized acts of agent where public policy places duty on principal to protect another’s interests, such as the duty of a self-insured employer to ensure that its injured workers are properly compensated. See also, Audi, § 31-284b, § 31-288, § 31-300. See prior decision Audi, 3418 CRB-3-96-9 (August 4, 1997), § 31-349 and Audi, 4151 CRB-3-99-1, 4234 CRB-3-00-5 (June 26, 2001), § 31-296, § 31-298, § 31-301-9, § 31-307, § 31-315.

Hammick v. Hartford, 4608 CRB-1-03-1 (December 29, 2003).

Trial commissioner has jurisdiction to consider collective bargaining agreement or payments already made pursuant to said agreement in order to determine whether respondents have met obligations to pay benefits under Workers’ Compensation Act, as § 31-314 requires due allowance to be made for sums paid on account of injury. However, Commission lacks jurisdiction to interpret collective bargaining agreement for purpose of determining whether claimant qualifies for 18 or 24 weeks of salary continuation benefits under union contract; benefit exists independently of Workers’ Compensation Act, and question belongs in another forum. See also, Hammick, § 31-314.

Matey v. Dember, 4488 CRB-7-02-2, 4532 CRB-5-02-5 (May 14, 2003), appeal dismissed for failure to comply with Supreme Court’s directive, 85 Conn. App. 198 (2004).

Trier’s order of biannual hearings in future to ascertain claimant’s disability status is an appropriate exercise of the commissioner’s authority. See also, Matey, § 31-307, 31-307a, 31-300, 31-303. See, Matey v. Dember, 256 Conn. 456 (2004).

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).

CRB affirmed trial commissioner’s adherence to remand order of Appellate Court in Del Toro v. Stamford, 64 Conn. App. 1 (2001), cert. denied, 258 Conn. 913 (2001), as it is not the place of this board or a trial commissioner to ignore the law as set forth by a court of appeal in an earlier proceeding in the same matter. Following summary affirmance by Appellate Court, Supreme Court granted cert. on appeal and reversed holding of earlier Appellate Court decision. Compensability of injury is a jurisdictional fact, and if a claimed injury does not meet the definition of “personal injury” under § 31-275(16), commissioner lacks subject matter jurisdiction over claim. See also, Del Toro, § 31-275(16); prior decision in 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, § 31-275(16).

Krajewski v. Atlantic Machine Tool Works, Inc., 4500 CRB-6-02-3 (March 7, 2003).

Basic principle of res judicata discussed and applied where pro se claimant raised numerous issues that were/could have been raised in earlier trials. See also, Krajewski, § 31-284b, § 31-290a, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-301-9, § 31-312, § 31-313, § 31-315; prior decisions at Krajewski, 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 44, 2120 CRB-6-94-8 (November 28, 1995), § 31-308a; Krajewski, 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 54, 1387 CRD-6-92-2 (April 1, 1993), § 31-290a.

Rinaldi v. Enfield, 4459 CRB-1-01-11 (December 27, 2002), aff’d, 82 Conn. App. 505 (2004).

Board discussed relation of collateral estoppel and “law of the case” doctrines to 1995 finding that held § 7-433b(b) cap inapplicable to claimant’s non-disability retirement pension, which was inconsistent with a subsequent Supreme Court decision. Circumstances favored application of “law of the case” doctrine, which allowed modification of earlier finding given subsequent change in law as per Carriero v. Naugatuck, 243 Conn. 747 (1998), and required application of § 7-433b(b) cap to combined pension and § 31-308a benefit award. See also, Rinaldi, § 7-433c, § 31-308a.

Regan v. Torrington, 4456 CRB-5-01-11 (October 25, 2002).

Respondents argued that trier lacked jurisdiction to decide whether claimant should be awarded total disability benefits in lieu of “sick pay” that was paid to him under collective bargaining agreement, as Commission lacks jurisdiction over contractual issues such as reinstatement of sick time. CRB disagreed with respondents’ characterization of issue, as real question before trier was whether claimant was entitled to total disability benefits as result of compensable injury. Because he was so entitled, trier had authority to order their payment under § 31-307, and to ensure that they were paid properly (i.e., as non-taxable income) as mandated by law. Issue does not center around interpretation of collective bargaining agreement. See also, Regan, § 31-300, § 31-307.

Napolitano v. Bridgeport, 4388 CRB-4-01-5 (September 6, 2002).

Pro se claimant sought to argue on appeal that trier should have recused himself. As this point was not raised until after claimant received trier’s decision, CRB refused to consider argument, as issue could have been raised at trial. See also, Napolitano, § 31-301. Factual findings, § 31-301-9, § 31-308(b).

Demarest v. Stamford, 4370 CRB-7-01-3 (March 14, 2002).

CRB held that trier had jurisdiction to set forth procedural guidelines for calculating future versions of § 7-433b(b) cap, where permanency benefits would continue to be payable for several years following issuance of award. See also, Demarest, § 7-433b.

Rayhall v. Akim Co., Inc., 4321 CRB-2-00-12 (November 5, 2001), aff’d, 263 Conn. 328 (2003).

CRB lacks jurisdiction to consider constitutionality of Social Security offset requirement in § 31-307(e). See also, Rayhall, § 31-295, § 31-298, § 31-307 and, § 31-308(b).

Owen v. Diversified Hospitality Group, 4204 CRB-3-00-3 (July 25, 2001).

Decedent’s office was temporarily relocated to Connecticut headquarters of employer during the six weeks before his death. Employment relation must have a legal situs under choice-of-law rule enunciated in Cleveland v. U.S. Printing Ink, Inc., 218 Conn. 181 (1991), and largest percentage of employer-employee contacts occurred in Connecticut at time of injury. “Place of contract” test also discussed in footnote. See also, Owen, § 31-275(1), § 31-275(9).

Schreiber v. Town & Country Auto Service, 4239 CRB-3-00-5 (June 15, 2001).

CRB affirmed dismissal of shoulder injury claim on ground that res judicata precluded the claimant from relitigating that matter. Claim had been raised at earlier formal hearing, and evidence had been offered that made it ripe for determination, even though it was not explicitly decided in the earlier award. Distinctions between res judicata, collateral estoppel and “law of the case” discussed. See also, Schreiber, § 31-297.

Melendez v. Valley Metallurgical, 4178 CRB-2-00-1 (May 1, 2001), appeal dismissed, A.C. 23921 (May 14, 2003), cert. denied, 266 Conn. 904 (2003).

Workers’ Compensation Commission has jurisdiction to consider due process issues, though CRB may not decide constitutionality of statutes. See also, Melendez, § 31-298, § 31-300, § 31-303; and see May 24, 2001 ruling on motion to correct/articulate CRB decision in Melendez, § 31-301. Appeal procedure. Related decision in Melendez, 4178 CRB-2-00-1 (November 19, 2003), rev’d, 86 Conn. App. 880 (2005)(no jurisdiction to rule on motion to reopen CRB decision), § 31-301. Appeal procedure.

Kelley v. Venezia Transport Services, 4184 CRB-2-00-2 (March 8, 2001).

CRB affirmed denial of Motion to Preclude and dismissal of claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Trier’s findings established that the claimant’s employment contract was executed in Pennsylvania, which was the site of all significant employer-employee contacts following his hire. No Motion to Correct was filed, and CRB could not independently interpret testimony of parties that set forth the nature of the understanding between claimant and employer when job was offered over telephone. Whether or not parties intended to form a binding agreement at that time was a question of fact. No evidence that alleged circulatory damage due to repetitive trauma from long-distance driving substantially occurred in Connecticut or any other specific state, so trier did not need to make a formal finding that Connecticut was not the situs of the injury. See also, Kelley, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-294c.

Schiano v. Bliss Exterminating Co., 4104 CRB-4-99-8 (February 21, 2001), rev’d, 260 Conn. 21 (2002).

CRB determined that trier had subject matter jurisdiction to issue decision on § 31-303 penalties where parties failed to notify him that settlement had been reached before he prepared and issued his ruling. Resolution of pending issues via mutual agreement must be ratified by commissioner once the case has begun. Supreme Court affirmed reasoning of CRB regarding jurisdiction, but reversed on the underlying issue of § 31-303’s applicability to late payments of attorney’s fee awards. See also, Schiano, § 31-303, Schiano, § 31-300. Prior decisions at Schiano, 3436 CRB-4-96-10 (April 8, 1998), and Schiano, 1852 CRB-4-93-9 (December 7, 1994), aff’d, 57 Conn. App. 406 (2000), both discussed at § 31-293 and, with regard to the 1994 decision, § 31-301. Appeal procedure as well, and Schiano, 3315 CRB-4-96-4 (May 16, 1997), § 31-301. Appeal procedure.

Bell v. Thomas Lombardo & Charles Holt d/b/a N&E Private Investigation & Security, 4065 CRB-2-99-6; 4152 CRB-2-99-11 (November 27, 2000).

CRB reversed trial commissioner’s granting of motion to dismiss all claims against respondent insurer Travelers for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Trier was empowered to go beyond computer records of commission to consider whether payment of premiums following apparent cancellation date of policy established an insurance contract under common-law principles, as claimant’s compensation was still at issue, as was the possibility of fining the employer for not having insurance. DiBello, infra, this section, and Stickney v. Sunlight Construction Inc., 248 Conn. 754 (1999), discussed. See also, Bell, § 31-348.

Moran v. Continental Field Machine, 3990 CRB-2-99-3 (March 7, 2000).

Workers’ Compensation Commission has continuing jurisdiction over claims. Where previous trial commissioner found claimant totally disabled for a certain timespan, but failed to order the payment of total disability benefits, a subsequent trier had the authority to make that order. See, Moran, § 31-308a.

DiBello v. Barnes Page Wire Products, 3970 CRB-7-99-2 (March 2, 2000), aff’d, 67 Conn. App. 361 (2001), cert. granted, 260 Conn. 915 (2002), appeal withdrawn (June 26, 2002).

CRB ruled that trial commissioner had jurisdiction to consider whether common-law agency and contract principles establish an insurance contract between employer and prospective insurer on date of injury where no other insurer was on the risk, and the claimant’s compensation had not yet been fully determined and collected. Stickney v. Sunlight Construction, Inc., 248 Conn. 754 (1999), discussed. See also, DiBello, § 31-294c, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-301-9, § 31-348. Subsequent decision at DiBello, 4290 CRB-7-00-9 (September 25, 2001), § 31-300, § 31-308a.

Rodriguez v. Seal Rite Mfg., 3954 CRB-4-98-12 (January 20, 2000).

See, Rodriguez, § 31-294d.

Prioli v. State/Connecticut State Library/Arts Commission, 3955 CRB-6-98-12 (January 13, 2000), aff’d, 64 Conn. App. 301 (2001), cert. denied, 258 Conn. 917 (2001).

In a footnote, CRB discussed the decisions of two panel members to recuse themselves from hearing the appeal at the request of the appellant. One such request was made over a month before oral argument, while the other was made at oral argument itself. With respect to the latter request, though no violation of the Code of Ethics for Workers’ Compensation Commissioners was apparent, the panelist agreed to recuse himself to expedite the resolution of this case. See also, Prioli, § 31-290a, § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-301-9, § 31-315, § 31-327. Subsequent ruling in Prioli, 3955 CRB-6-98-12 (October 16, 2000), § 31-301c.

Pascarelli v. Moliterno Stone Sales, 3925 CRB-4-98-11 (December 22, 1999).

Commission lacked jurisdiction to interpret collective bargaining agreement once it was determined that the claimant was not entitled to benefits under § 31-284b. See also, Pascarelli, § 31-284b, § 31-287. Prior decision at Pascarelli, 14 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 328, 2115 CRB-4-94-8 (September 15, 1995), aff’d, 44 Conn. App. 397, 400 (1997), See also, Pascarelli, § 31-287, § 31-310.

Kuban v. Bridgeport Hospital, 3926 CRB-7-98-6 (September 23, 1999), appeal dismissed, A.C. 20100 (January 5, 2000).

Though substantive issues of appeal (constitutionality of § 31-349c) were not within scope of board’s review, fact that appeal was from a Finding and Dismissal made it cognizable by CRB, allowing board to consider reserving case to Appellate Court under § 31-324. See also, Kuban, § 31-324, § 31-349.

Fish v. Caldor, Inc., 3840 CRB-7-98-6 (May 11, 1999).

CRB lacks jurisdiction over appeal taken directly from the opinion of a § 31-349 medical panel. Board also lacks authority to decide constitutionality of statutes. When considering issues of constitutional magnitude, CRB may only interpret existing statutes and cases in the manner most consistent with constitutional guarantees. See also, Fish, § 31-349.

Kluttz v. Estate of Glenn Howard, 3738 CRB-4-97-12 (February 18, 1999).

Second Injury Fund argued that trial commissioner erroneously entered award against estate of deceased individual. CRB held that jurisdiction was established over employer prior to his death, and remedial purpose of Act is better served by holding that substitution of estate/administrator as respondent is automatic process. CRB relied on Matey v. Dember, 5 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 104, 516 CRD-5-86 (June 14, 1988), aff’d in part and rev’d in part, 256 Conn. 456 (2001), in its decision. See also, Kluttz, § 31-308(b) and (c). 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.

Bass v. Chesebrough-Ponds, USA, 3709 CRB-3-97-10 (November 27, 1998).

CRB lacks jurisdiction to decide constitutionality of § 31-349 as revised by P.A. 95-277. See also, Bass, § 31-349.

Baribault v. Harben Flooring Co, Inc., 3579 CRB-7-97-3 (June 4, 1998).

CRB does not have jurisdiction to consider the constitutionality of workers’ compensation statutes, in this case § 31-288. See also, Baribault, § 31-288, § 31-301-4. Correction of finding.

Genden v. American Airlines, 3419 CRB-5-96-9 (February 9, 1998).

Trial commissioner found that claimant, a Connecticut resident who was injured at LaGuardia Airport in New York, had an office in his home and flew most of his routes out of Bradley Airport in Windsor Locks. He concluded that the place of the employment relation was Connecticut, and thus ruled this Commission had jurisdiction to entertain the instant claim. Affirmed. Facts were not challenged, and sufficed to support the trier’s conclusion, which satisfied the test enunciated in Cleveland v. U.S. Printing Ink, Inc., 218 Conn. 181 (1991). Subsequent decision at Genden, 3912 CRB-5-98-10 (July 22, 1999), rev’d, 257 Conn. 520 (2001), § 31-349.

Burse v. American International Airways, Inc., 3480 CRB-2-96-12 (November 7, 1997), dismissed for lack of a final judgment, A.C. 17825 (January 14, 1998), rev’d, 262 Conn. 31 (2002).

Claimant, a Connecticut resident, was injured while piloting a jet over Ohio airspace. AIA is based in Michigan. Trier found that Connecticut had jurisdiction over claim because employment contract was formed in Connecticut and this state was the place of the employment relationship. CRB affirmed. Sufficient evidence existed (particularly testimonial evidence) to support the trier’s findings. Supreme Court reversed the decision on jurisdictional grounds, in the process also reversing this board’s subsequent decision in Burse, cited below. Court reasoned that the “jurisdictional” issue was more correctly characterized as a conflict of laws question, and clarified the test set forth in Cleveland v. U.S. Printing Ink, Inc., 218 Conn. 181 (1991), by explaining that “place of” employment contract and employment relation require, at a minimum, a showing of a significant relationship between Connecticut and either the employment contract or the employment relationship. Based on the facts found, no such relationship existed here. Subsequent decision in Burse, 3986 CRB-2-99-3 (March 3, 2000), rev’d, 262 Conn. 31 (2002), § 31-284(a), § 31-301. Factual findings.

Spears v. Spears, 2082 CRB-2-94-6 (October 30, 1997), dismissed for lack of a final judgment, A.C. 17819 (January 15, 1998).

Claimant, a Narragansett Indian and resident of Rhode Island, claims to have fallen off a roof while working for a business operated out of the home of Lake and Keri Spears, a married couple living on the Mashantucket Pequot Indian Reservation. The reservation is a sovereign nation under the laws of Connecticut and the United States. Trial commissioner concluded that the claimant was not an employee under the Workers’ Compensation Act because he was not a state resident, did not suffer an injury in Connecticut, and worked for an alleged employer whose principal place of business was not in Connecticut. CRB, which has power to determine its own jurisdiction, analyzed the statute prescribing federal recognition of the tribe, and our Supreme Court’s decision in State v. Spears, 234 Conn. 78 (1995). After a detailed analysis of several statutes and case law, the majority ultimately determined that jurisdiction indeed existed under 40 U.S.C. § 290, which gives the authority charged with enforcing each state’s workers’ compensation law the power to apply such laws to all lands and premises owned by the United States. Indian reservations are held in trust by the United States. Therefore, the situs of the alleged injury creates subject matter jurisdiction in this Commission over the claim. (Frankl, C., DISSENTING) 40 U.S.C. § 290 should not be read as broadly as the majority concludes, as said law was intended to protect laborers and mechanics working on federal lands. Tribe may have other remedies for personal injuries, and without clear indication from Congress or the tribe itself, the Act should not be read to apply to work-related injuries occurring on a recognized reservation. See also, Spears, § 31-298.

Altamura v. Altamura Landscaping, 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 427, 2170 CRB-7-94-10 (September 3, 1996).

Where 1990 injury was at issue, but compensability of 1992 injury was not before commissioner at formal hearing, “finding” that latter injury was unrelated to former injury was construed as mere advisory statement that no conclusion was reached regarding relationship of 1992 injury to 1990 injury. See also, Altamura, § 31-294c, and § 31-301. Appeal procedure.

Bailey v. Stripling Auto Sales, 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 369, 3095 CRB-2-95-6 (June 28, 1996).

Claimant attempted to introduce additional evidence regarding competency of commissioner. Sufficient information was not offered to make a § 31-301-9 ruling; moreover, CRB does not have authority to determine the competency of commissioners. See also, Bailey, § 31-298, and § 31-308a. See subsequent decision Bailey, 3461 CRB-3-96-11 (April 9, 1998), § 31-315 and Bailey, 4516 CRB-2-02-4 (May 8, 2003), § 31-298, § 31-307a.

Nicolett v. Alimak Elevator Co., 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 322, 2203 CRB-4-94-11 (June 24, 1996).

CRB affirmed trial commissioner’s conclusion that Connecticut lacked subject matter jurisdiction where trier found Tennessee was the place of the employment contract, the place of the employment relation and the place of the claimant’s injury.

Casagrande v. Federal Express Corp., 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 300, 2247 CRB-5-94-12 (June 20, 1996).

CRB affirmed the trial commissioner’s determination that Kentucky, rather than Connecticut, properly has jurisdiction over the claim, as Kentucky has “the most significant relationship to the contract of employment” pursuant to the Restatement Second of Conflict of Laws. The undisputed facts in this case indicate that the claimant’s injury occurred in Kentucky, that the employer’s place of business was in Kentucky, and that the claimant was residing in Kentucky when the injury occurred. The only significant connection to Connecticut was the claimant’s acceptance of the offer of employment from Connecticut. CRB noted that this board had previously stated: “When the contract of employment between the parties was entered into in this state, our Workers’ Compensation Act is available to determine the compensability of the employee’s injury, regardless of the place of the employment relationship or the place of injury.” Casagrande v. Federal Express, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 170, 172, 1561 CRB-5-92-11 (April 29, 1994). However, due to the reconsideration of the legal analysis regarding the place of contract as it relates to jurisdiction as set forth in Quinn, infra, the CRB declined to follow a strict place of contract analysis.

Costelli v. Blakeslee Arpaia Chapman, Inc., 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 113, 2159 CRB-3-94-9 (January 11, 1996).

Claimant’s attorney instructed treating physician not to answer questions at deposition based on patient/physician privilege. Respondents then sought to preclude use of his testimony or medical reports as evidence. Trial commissioner found deposition was not ordered pursuant to § 31-278, as subpoena was issued by respondents’ attorney. He ruled that respondents’ remedy was to proceed under § 51-85 if subpoena was being ignored. Held, although no order was issued under § 31-278, commissioner was not prevented by § 51-85 from ruling on treating physician’s refusal to testify on the basis of patient-physician privilege. Sec. 51-85 makes use of superior court optional if witness fails to comply with subpoena. As for merits of objection, patient-physician privilege does not apply where someone makes a workers’ compensation claim and chooses a particular doctor as treating physician. Exclusion of evidence is a permissible sanction for failure to allow discovery.

Quinn v. Mid-South Industries, 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 34, 2020 CRB-2-94-4 (November 28, 1995).

CRB reversed commissioner’s decision which found jurisdiction over the claimant’s claim. Claimant was an Alabama resident, employed by an employer in Alabama, who was injured in Alabama. CRB held that the mere fact that the claimant entered into the employment contract while he was still a resident of Connecticut was not sufficient to allow Connecticut jurisdiction over the claim. Discussion of jurisdiction and case law.

Giordano v. Morganti, Inc., 15 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 21, 3023 CRB-7-95-3 (November 9, 1995).

Claimant was a Virginia resident employed by a Connecticut corporation. Contract was signed in Virginia. Claimant resided in Connecticut for two-week training session, and was then sent to West Africa to assume his supervisory duties. Claimant contracted serious illness in Africa. Trial commissioner concluded that Connecticut was place of employment relationship, but 1993 amendment to § 31-275 regarding non-resident employees precluded basing jurisdiction on that alone. Held, affirmed. 1993 amendment affects non-resident employees suffering out-of-state injuries by implication, even though it specifically addresses in-state injuries only. Unreasonable dichotomy in law would result otherwise. See also, Giordano, § 31-275(9).

Dixon v. United Illuminating Co., 14 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 215, 1996 CRB-4-94-3 (August 4, 1995).

See, Dixon, § 31-298 for discussion of jurisdiction over appeal from denial of motion to order deposition.

Crouch v. Hayner Hoyt Corp., 14 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 143, 1824 CRB-1-93-8 (June 20, 1995).

Claimant injured in 1987 at West Hartford job site. Neither claimant nor respondent corporation was domiciled in Connecticut. Claimant was hired in New York and performed most of his job services there. He received workers’ compensation under New York law. Commissioner found no jurisdiction existed under interest analysis theory. Held, Cleveland v. U.S. Printing Ink, Inc., 218 Conn. 181 (1991), applies to this injury; 1993 amendment to § 31-275 definition of “employee” not intended to apply retroactively. Under conflict of laws rule in Cleveland, jurisdiction exists because Connecticut was place of injury.

Giardino v. Roberts Express, Inc., 14 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 131, 1863 CRB-6-93-10 (June 9, 1995).

Trial commissioner properly ruled that Connecticut lacked jurisdiction over case under test in Cleveland v. U.S. Printing Ink, Inc., 218 Conn. 181 (1991), the applicable test at the time of injury. Injury did not occur in Connecticut, employment contract was entered into out-of-state, and alleged in-state employer was found to be neither the agent of Roberts nor the employer at time of injury.

Gonzalez v. Electric Transport (PENSKE), 13 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 6, 1729 CRB-1-93-5 (October 13, 1994).

Medical provider has the same right to a hearing and award as the claimant. See also, Gonzalez, § 31-315.

Stickney v. Sunlight Construction Co., 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 364, 1738 CRB-6-93-5 (August 2, 1994), rev’d, 48 Conn. App. 609 (1998), aff’d, 248 Conn. 754 (1999).

Trier erred in holding he lacked subject matter jurisdiction to resolve dispute between two insurance carriers where cancellation of one policy and effective coverage date of the other was not furnished to the workers’ compensation commission. Reversed by Appellate Court, which held that the trial commissioner lacked subject matter jurisdiction. See also, Stickney, § 31-315 See later, Stickney, 3205 CRB-6-95-11 (April 25, 1997), § 31-315, § 31-348.

Casagrande v. Federal Express, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 170, 1561 CRB-5-92-11 (April 29, 1994).

Remanded with direction for trial commissioner to apply the rules of contract formation (offer and acceptance) where trier found claimant entered a new contract of employment upon transferring to Kentucky. Trier must determine when and where the contract between the claimant and the employer was made. But see later decision, Casagrande, supra.

Santucci v. Remodeling Consultants, Inc., 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 118, 1438 CRB-7-92-6 (February 28, 1994).

Trier properly dismissed claim where, on remand, trier found the place of the employment relationship at the time of claimant’s injury had shifted from Connecticut to New York. See, Santucci, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 66, 1140 CRD-7-90-11 (March 23, 1992).

Gibson v. Keebler Company, 12 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 77, 1466 CRB-1-92-7 (February 4, 1994), aff’d, 37 Conn. App. 392 (1995).

Trial commissioner properly determined Connecticut was not the place of injury, place of the employment contract nor place of the employment relationship. Trier found claimant’s employment relationship indicated that although he had an office at his home in Connecticut, claimant had an Illinois office and initially accepted Illinois workers’ compensation benefits, and was responsible for sales in the employer’s Atlantic region.

Currier v. Retail Express, 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 234, 1344 CRD-6-91-11 (November 8, 1993).

Trier found claimant, a long haul truck driver, did not have sufficient contacts with Connecticut to establish Connecticut jurisdiction. CRB remanded matter as trier failed to apply our Supreme Court’s ruling in Cleveland v. U.S. Printing Ink, Inc., 218 Conn. 181 (1991) to the facts found to determine if Connecticut was the place of the employment relation.

Schick v. Windsor Airmotive Division, 11 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 17, 1033 CRD-1-90-6 (February 16, 1993), motion to dismiss appeal for lack of final judgment denied, 31 Conn. App. 819 (1993), aff’d, 34 Conn. App. 673 (1994).

CRB does not have the authority to compel a commissioner who has resigned to act on unfinished matters relating to a claim. See also, Schick, § 31-301. Appeal procedure.

Kluttz v. Howard, 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 195, 1188 CRD-4-91-3 (November 5, 1992), aff’d, 228 Conn. 401 (1994).

See, Kluttz, § 31-355.

Romeo v. H & L Chevrolet, Inc., 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 72, 1149 CRD-7-90-12 (March 31, 1992).

Where claimant’s request that trial commissioner should have recused himself in the proceedings below and the request for recusal was not an issue below or mentioned in claimant’s Reasons of Appeal but mentioned for the first time in appellant’s brief before the CRB; such request will not be considered for the first time on appeal. Also, as commissioner below was obligated to perform administrative functions and found no record of a notice of claim being timely filed nor did the commissioner’s actions result in claimant being denied his due process right to an impartial arbiter; CRB upheld trier’s decision. See also, Romeo, § 31-294c and § 31-301. Appeal procedure.

Santucci v. Remodeling Consultants, Inc., 10 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 66, 1140 CRD-7-90-11 (March 23, 1992).

Remanded. Trier found he lacked subject matter jurisdiction as Connecticut was not the place of injury or the place of hire. However, trier must address whether Connecticut was the place of employment relation according to Supreme Court’s rationale in Cleveland v. U.S. Printing Ink, 218 Conn. 181 (1991).

Chute v. Mobil Shipping and Transportation Company, 9 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 135, 1007 CRD-7-90-4 (May 22, 1991).

Matter reversed and remanded as trier failed to determine whether an employer-employee relationship existed at the time of decedent’s injury. The Supreme Court in Cleveland v. U.S. Printing Ink, Inc., 218 Conn. 181 (1991) prescribed a new rule for conflicts of law issues and held the Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Act should be applied when Connecticut is the place of injury, the place of the employment contract or the place of the employment relation. The court relied on Castro v. Viera, 207 Conn. 420 (1988) and its holding that in order for subject matter jurisdiction to be obtained, it must be found that an employer-employee relationship existed.

Taylor v. New Penn Motor Express, 9 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 116, 950 CRD-2-89-11 (April 24, 1991).

Trial commissioner’s finding claimant was hired in Connecticut thereby satisfying Cleveland criterion is a factual finding which will not be disturbed on appeal. See, Cleveland v. U.S. Printing Ink, Inc., 218 Conn. 181 (1991).

Trantolo v. Trantolo & Trantolo, 8 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 69, 823 CRD-6-89-2 (April 17, 1990).

Commission lacks jurisdiction to decide constitutional issues. See also, Trantolo, § 31-294c, § 31-300, § 31-301. Appeal procedure.

Cleveland v. U.S. Printing Ink, Inc., 7 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 51, 680 CRD-2-88-1 (August 10, 1989), no error, 21 Conn. App. 610 (1990), aff’d, 218 Conn. 181 (1991).

Where trial commissioner finds employer-employee relationship exists and there were significant contacts with this jurisdiction, Motion to Preclude will lie. Allegation of improper venue incorrect as § 31-278 and § 31-294 permit notice and jurisdiction of claims with any commissioner. Supreme Court held jurisdiction under this act applies where Connecticut is the place of injury or the place of hiring or the place of employment relation. See also, Cleveland, § 31-294c.

Lustig v. C.N. Flagg Co., 7 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 38, 658 CRD-1-87 (July 25, 1989).

Commissioner does not have jurisdiction to decide constitutional issues. See also, Lustig, § 31-284b.

Ramos v. General Dynamics Corporation/Electric Boat Division, 7 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 17, 538 CRD-2-86 (June 26, 1989).

Remanded to conform with the Supreme Court’s ruling in McGowan v. General Dynamics Corporation/Electric Boat Division, 210 Conn. 580 (1989)(per curiam) with respect to overlapping jurisdictions involved, Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Act and federal Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.

Brennan v. General Dynamics Corporation/Electric Boat Division, 6 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 155, 460 CRD-2-86 (April 28, 1989).

Remanded to conform with the Supreme Court’s ruling in McGowan v. General Dynamics Corp./Electric Boat Division, 210 Conn. 580 (1989)(per curiam). Overlapping jurisdictions, Conn. Workers’ Comp. Act and federal Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Comp. Act.

Falcigno v. Joseph Feldman, Inc., 6 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 88, 733 CRD-3-88-5 (January 13, 1989).

See also, Falcigno, § 31-294c. Remanded. Jurisdictional issues raised.

Todd v. Jazlowiecki, 6 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 9, 493 CRD-6-86 (August 26, 1988), no error, 20 Conn. App. 805 (1989)(per curiam).

Recusal denied where both sides alleged previous contacts with the trial commissioner. See also, Todd, § 31-294d, § 31-298.

Faraci v. Connecticut Light and Power Co., 5 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 160, 508 CRD-2-86 (August 10, 1988), no error, 211 Conn. 166 (1989).

Commissioner had no jurisdiction to hear matter alleging the unconstitutionality of § 31-308(d)’s prohibition of awards for scars resulting from spinal surgery.

Matey v. Dember, 5 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 104, 516 CRD-5-86 (June 14, 1988), appeal dismissed, 210 Conn. 626 (1989)(per curiam), aff’d in part and rev’d in part, 256 Conn. 456 (2001).

Commissioner lacks jurisdiction to decide whether a claim was timely filed against an estate where conclusion dependent upon probate law. Appeal to Supreme Court initially dismissed as premature pending resolution of further evidentiary proceedings. Supreme Court later held that, though workers’ compensation claims are categorically subject to § 45a-395 C.G.S. (the probate nonclaim statute), a commissioner has jurisdiction under § 31-355 to enter an award against an employer’s estate for the purpose of establishing the Second Injury Fund’s liability even if the claim is barred by the nonclaim statute. CRB thus had jurisdiction to enter award against estate as prerequisite to ordering fund to make payments. Subsequent decisions at Matey, 1189 CRD-5-91-3 (April 5, 1991), § 31-301. Appeal procedure, Matey, 3153 CRB-5-95-8 (January 10, 1997), aff’d in part and rev’d in part, 256 Conn. 456 (2001), § 31-301. Appeal procedure, § 31-315, § 31-355(a), Matey, 3848 CRB-7-98-6 (July 7, 1999), aff’d in part and rev’d in part, 256 Conn. 456 (2001), § 31-355(b), Matey, 4488 CRB-7-02-2, 4532 CRB-5-02-5 (May 14, 2003), appeal dismissed for failure to comply with Supreme Court’s directive, 85 Conn. App. 198 (2004).

DeLorenzo v. United Autoworkers, 5 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 31, 400 CRD-1-85 (April 6, 1988).

Subject matter jurisdiction will not be determined solely on whether there was a Connecticut contract of employment.

Austin v. Roy Brothers, Inc., 4 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 115, 342 CRD-6-84 (October 19, 1987).

In determining jurisdiction other factors besides the place of employment contract should be considered.

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).

Commissioners do not have jurisdiction to determine constitutionality of statutes.

Thomas v. Carpenter Technology Corp., 2 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 127, 247 CRD-4-83 (May 13, 1985), cert. denied, 198 Conn. 804 (1986).

Commissioner vested with broad powers to carry out act including powers to secure evidence.

Sullivan v. Northwind Energy Insulators, Inc., 2 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op.12, 146 CRD-4-82 (May 16, 1983), no error, 2 Conn. App. 689 (1984), cert. denied, 195 Conn. 801 (1985).

Where commissioner issued a finding and award after claimant initiated a writ of mandamus seeking a hearing on his motion to disqualify the commissioner, the issuance of the award was construed as a denial of the motion.

Baker v. Colt Industries, 2 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 4, 106 CRD-1-81 (May 13, 1983).

Compensation Review Division has no jurisdiction to rule on a negligence claim that employer failed to provide prompt medical attention.


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