The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.

Workers' Compensation Law Supreme Court Opinions

by Booth, George


SC20350 - Vitti v. Milford (Workers' Compensation; "This appeal presents a question of first impression in our workers' compensation law, namely, whether a claimant who undergoes a heart transplant is entitled to a specific indemnity award for permanent partial disability under the Workers' Compensation Act (act), specifically, General Statutes § 31-308 (b), for the total loss of the claimant's native heart, or whether the award should instead be based on the rated function of the claimant's new, transplanted heart. The plaintiff . . . who had been employed as a police officer by the named defendant, the city of Milford (city), appeals from the decision of the Compensation Review Board (board) affirming the decision of the Workers' Compensation Commissioner for the Fourth District (commissioner), who awarded him permanent partial disability benefits of 23 percent based on the function of his transplanted heart. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that § 31-308 (b) mandates compensation for the 100 percent loss of his native heart because his transplanted heart is akin to a prosthetic device and, therefore, not considered in any function rating for purposes of awarding permanent partial disability benefits. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the decision of the board.")

SC20373 - Feliciano v. State (Sovereign Immunity; Workers' Compensation; "The plaintiff . . . a state employee, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion to dismiss filed by the named defendant, the state of Connecticut (state). We must resolve whether the state's waiver of sovereign immunity in General Statutes § 52-556 for claims arising from a state employee's negligent operation of a state owned and insured motor vehicle extends to litigants who are state employees. The state claims that it does not. We conclude that it does.

The state contends that the judgment of the trial court nevertheless may be affirmed on the alternative ground that, even if § 52-556 applies to state employees, the plaintiff's action is barred by the workers' compensation exclusivity provision in General Statutes § 31-284 (a). More specifically, the state argues that the waiver of sovereign immunity pursuant to § 52-556 does not preclude it from raising its defense to liability under § 31-284 (a). We agree. Because we also conclude that the state is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, we reverse the judgment of dismissal and remand this case to the trial court with direction to render judgment in favor of the state.")