State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, Stephen M. Morelli, Chairman
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CRB Case Annotations re: Section 31-301-2

[Administrative Regulation]

Reasons of Appeal.

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THESE ANNOTATIONS ARE PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY

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

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

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, § 31-278, § 31-293, § 31-294d, § 31-298, § 31-301 Factual findings, ยง 31-301-4.

Frantzen v. Davenport Electric, 5990 CRB-7-15-2 (February 24, 2016).

Appellant, one of several attorneys who represented claimant during pendency of claim, challenged trial commissioner’s subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate dispute between counsel over division of approved attorneys’ fee. CRB, noting that appeal implicated scope of trier’s authority rather than subject matter jurisdiction, affirmed on basis that plain language of § 31-327(b) C.G.S. states that “all” attorneys’ fees “shall be subject to the approval of the commissioner.” Appellant also claimed as error trial commissioner’s decision to split escrowed fee 50/50 absent a full evidentiary hearing. Noting that trier’s statements at formal hearing indicated her inquiry would be limited to an examination of Commission’s authority to adjudicate fee dispute, and appellant had never submitted statement of time and charges substantiating claim for attorneys’ fees, CRB reversed fee apportionment findings and remanded for additional proceedings. CRB also denied Motion to Dismiss for appellant’s failure to timely file Reasons of Appeal, holding that appellee was not unduly prejudiced by three-week delay and dismissal would cause needless delay given that escrow disbursement could not occur except by agreement of parties, deemed unlikely, or additional litigation. See also, Frantzen, § 31-301 Factual Findings; § 31-327.

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, § 31-278; § 31-296; § 31-300; § 31-301. Appeal Procedure, § 31-301-9.

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State of Connecticut

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Page last revised: November 14, 2019

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