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Workers' Compensation Law

Workers' Compensation Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3097

AC40535 - Barker v. All Roofs by Dominic (Workers' compensation; "The defendant, the city of Bridgeport (city),appeals from the decision of the Compensation Review Board (board) affirming the finding and order of the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner for the Third District (commissioner) holding that the city was the principal employer of the plaintiff Christopher Barker when he suffered a compensable injury while working for an uninsured subcontractor of the city on city property, and thus that the city was liable, pursuant to General Statutes § 31-291, for all workers’ compensation benefits3 due to him in connection with that injury. The city claims that the board erred in affirming the decision of the commissioner that the city was liable to the plaintiff as his principal employer because (1) § 31-291 does not apply to governmental entities and (2) even if § 31-291, in theory, can apply to a municipality, it does not impose principal employer liability on the city in this case because one fact essential to establishing such liability—that the work being performed by the plaintiff when he was injured was a part or process of the city’s trade or business—has not been satisfied. We affirm the decision of the board.")


Workers' Compensation Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3064

SC20005 - Williams v. New Haven ("In the present case, we are asked to determine whether our holding in Genovese, in which the plaintiff brought an action in the Superior Court pursuant to General Statutes § 31-290a, applies equally when a plaintiff has opted to bring his claim pursuant to § 31-290a before the Workers’ Compensation Commission (commission). Specifically, we must determine whether the Compensation Review Board (review board) correctly determined that § 31-51bb permitted the plaintiff, Simon Williams, to file a claim with the commission alleging that the named defendant, the city of New Haven,1 had violated § 31-290a by wrongfully terminating his employment in retaliation for bringing a workers’ compensation claim, despite the fact that a related issue previously had been decided by the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration (state board) in an arbitration proceeding brought pursuant to the plaintiff’s collective bargaining agreement. We conclude that the review board correctly determined that, under § 31-51bb, the plaintiff’s claim brought before the commission pursuant to § 31-290a was not barred by the doctrine of collateral estoppel. Accordingly, we affirm the review board’s decision.")

AC39673 - Mikucka v. St. Lucian's Residence, Inc. (“The plaintiff claims that (1) the commissioner, by not allowing her to present evidence to prove that she did not have a work capacity, violated her right to due process, and (2) the commissioner erred in determining that she was not totally disabled. We affirm the decision of the board and dismiss the appeal as to the second claim.”)


Workers' Compensation Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3018

AC39488- Clements v. Aramark Corp. ("The principal issue in this appeal is the compensability, under the Workers’ Compensation Act (act), General Statutes § 31-275 et seq., of an injury to an employee that occurred on an employer’s premises when the employee became lightheaded, fell, and hit her head while walking to her work station before the start of her shift... The plaintiff claims that the board erred in holding that, because the plaintiff’s fall was caused by her personal infirmity, rather than a workplace condition, her resultant head injury did not arise out of and in the course of her employment within the meaning of the act. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the decision of the board.")


Employment Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3001

SC19817 - MacDermid, Inc. v. Leonetti ("The defendant, Stephen J. Leonetti, appeals from the judgment of the trial court, rendered after a jury trial, in favor of the plaintiff, MacDermid, Inc., on its claim of unjust enrichment. On appeal, the defendant contends the following: (1) the plaintiff’s unjust enrichment claim is barred by collateral estoppel on the basis of the proceedings underlying our decision in Leonetti v. MacDermid, Inc., 310 Conn. 195, 76 A.3d 168 (2013); (2) the plaintiff’s recovery is precluded by General Statutes §§ 31-290 and 31-296 (a), the terms of a termination agreement (agreement) between the parties, and public policy; (3) the trial court’s jury instructions were improper; and (4) the trial court improperly excluded certain evidence. The plaintiff disagrees and claims that many of the defendant’s arguments are unpreserved, inadequately briefed, or both. We agree with the plaintiff. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Workers' Compensation Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2919

AC39373 - Melendez v. Fresh Start General Remodeling & Contracting, LLC (Workers’ compensation; claim that claimant was not regularly employed for over 26 hours per week; pro forma formal hearing; “The respondent claims that the board erred in concluding that (1) the claimant was an employee of the respondent and entitled to bring a claim against him individually under the Workers’ Compensation Act (act), General Statutes § 31-275 et seq., and (2) the respondent was afforded sufficient due process to hold him personally liable. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the decision of the board.”)


Workers' Compensation Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=1896

AC39009 - Frantzen v. Davenport Electric ("This case presents the issue of whether the Workers’ Compensation Commission (commission) has the statutory authority, pursuant to General Statutes § 31-327 (b),1 to decide fee disputes among attorneys who have represented a claimant at different times during the pendency of a case before the commission… On appeal, Vaccaro claims (1) that the commission does not have subject matter jurisdiction to resolve disputes regarding attorney’s fees between lawyers who serially represented a claimant and (2) that the commissioner and the board deprived Vaccaro of his constitutional right to have the attendant factual issues resolved by a jury. We disagree with Vaccaro’s claims and, accordingly, affirm the decision of the board.")


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=847

SC191723 - Lucenti v. Laviero ("In this certified appeal, we consider the contours of the proof necessary, under Suarez v. Dickmont Plastics Corp., 229 Conn. 99, 111, 639 A.2d 507 (1994) (Suarez I), and Suarez v. Dickmont Plastics Corp., 242 Conn. 255, 280–81, 698 A.2d 838 (1997) (Suarez II), for an employee to establish an employer's subjective intent to create a dangerous situation with a 'substantial certainty of injury' to the employee, for purposes of avoiding application of General Statutes § 31-284 (a), the exclusive remedy provision of the Workers' Compensation Act (act), General Statutes § 31-275 et seq. The plaintiff, Dominick Lucenti, appeals, upon our grant of his petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants, Greg Laviero and Martin Laviero Contractors, Inc. (Laviero Contractors). Lucenti v. Laviero, 165 Conn. App. 429, 441, 139 A.3d 752 (2016). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the Appellate Court improperly concluded that evidence regarding warnings to Laviero from the plaintiff and other employees about the dangers posed by the use of a particular excavator, which would operate only when 'rigged' to run at full throttle, did not establish a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the defendants subjectively believed that the plaintiff's subsequent injuries from the use of that excavator were substantially certain to occur. We conclude that, in the absence of any evidence demonstrating the hallmarks typical of such employer misconduct, the plaintiff has failed to establish a genuine issue of material fact with respect to the defendants' subjective beliefs. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court."


Workers' Compensation Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=654

AC38798 - Dinino v. Federal Express Corp. ("It is well established that the Workers’ Compensation Act, General Statutes § 31-275 et seq. (act), provides the exclusive remedy for most workers injured in the course of their employment. This appeal arises out of an action by the plaintiff, Quintino DiNino, Jr., in which he alleges that his employer, Federal Express Corporation (FedEx) and his coworker, Ernest Hawkins, are liable for injuries that he suffered in a work related accident. The plaintiff appeals from the trial court’s granting of two separate motions for summary judgment in favor of each defendant. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly rendered summary judgment because it erroneously concluded that there were no genuine issues of material fact regarding the applicability of two recognized exceptions to the exclusivity provision of the act. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Workers' Compensation Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=590

AC38480 - Sanchez v. Edson Mfg. ("On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the board erred (1) in affirming the commissioner’s decision that the plaintiff was not entitled to temporary partial or temporary total disability benefits from August, 2013 to July, 2014, because the commissioner’s finding as to the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s workplace injury was not supported by sufficient subordinate facts; and (2) in not remanding this case to the commissioner with instructions that he articulate why, in reaching his decision, he disregarded the opinion of his own medical examiner as to the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injury. We affirm the decision of the board.")


Workers' Compensation Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=572

AC39484 - Singh v. CVS (Workers' Compensation; conclusion that plaintiff had reached maximum medical improvement for a compensable toe injury; “The board affirmed the commissioner’s determination on the ground that the plaintiff’s medical condition was the result of degenerative processes unrelated to the compensable injury. The board concluded that evidence in the record found persuasive and credible by the commissioner supported that determination. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the commissioner improperly failed to (1) apply credible evidence in accordance with the applicable law, specifically General Statutes § 31-349, and (2) perform an analysis of the plaintiff’s total disability consistent with the precedent in Osterlund v. State, 135 Conn. 498, 66 A.2d 363 (1949), and, therefore, the board improperly affirmed the decision of the commissioner.”)


Judicial Branch Now Publishing Headnotes for its Supreme & Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=534

The Judicial Branch has announced that it is now publishing a syllabus (headnote) at the top of each Supreme and Appellate Court opinion:

The Judicial Branch is now posting online headnotes for both Supreme and Appellate Court opinions. These headnotes, which accompany individual Supreme and Appellate Court decisions, include a short summary of the ruling and the procedural history of a case. The Reporter of Judicial Decisions prepares the headnotes, which are not part of the opinion. As such, the opinion alone should be relied upon for the reasoning behind the decision [Emphasis added].

Subscribe to a case law category (or categories) of your choice through our Email Digest or RSS delivery services to receive the latest cases from the Supreme or Appellate Courts delivered directly to your inbox.


Workers' Compensation Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=474

AC38382 - Teixeira v. Home Depot, Inc. (Workers' Compensation; "The plaintiff, Robert Teixeira, appeals from the decision of the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner (commissioner) (1) denying the plaintiff’s request for a continuance on the rescheduled trial date and (2) concluding that the plaintiff had not met his burden of proof that his discharge from employment by the defendant, The Home Depot, Inc., was retaliatory in violation of the Workers’ Compensation Act, General Statutes § 31-275 et seq. (act). We affirm the decision of the commissioner.")


Workers' Compensation Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=320

SC19682 - Staurovsky v. Milford Police Dept. (Workers' Comp; “On appeal, the plaintiff, who is a retired police officer who had been employed by the named defendant, the Milford Police Department, claims that the Appellate Court improperly concluded that he was not entitled to heart and hypertension benefits after suffering a myocardial infarction shortly after his retirement. Id., 208–209. Specifically, the plaintiff contends that the Appellate Court improperly followed its decision in Gorman v. Waterbury, 4 Conn. App. 226, 231–32, 493 A.2d 286 (1985), in determining that General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) § 7-433c required him to prove that his heart disease or hypertension caused him to suffer from death or disability while he was actively employed as a police officer.”)


Workers' Compensation Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=240

SC19584 - Balloli v. New Haven Police Dept. (Workers' Compensation; "place of abode"; General Statutes § 31-275 (1) (A) (i) of the Workers’ Compensation Act ; "The plaintiff appeals from a decision of the Workers’ Compensation Review Board (board), which affirmed the decision of the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner for the Third District (commissioner) dismissing the plaintiff’s claim. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that he is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits because he had departed his ‘place of abode’ for duty as a police officer. We agree with the plaintiff.")


Workers' Compensation Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=233

SC19626 - Graham v. Olson Wood Associates, Inc. (Workers' compensation; “In this appeal, we consider whether a Workers’ Compensation Commissioner may reinstate an employer or insurer as a party to proceedings pending on the asbestos docket of the Workers’ Compensation Commission (commission) when the claim against that party was dismissed prior to a determination of the claimant’s compensability or date of final exposure… We conclude that the commissioner properly reinstated the association as a party to the underlying proceedings because the commissioner’s broad case management authority under General Statutes § 31-298, which extends to cases on the asbestos docket involving the apportionment of liability under General Statutes § 31-299b, permitted him to render a dismissal that was provisional, rather than final, in nature. Accordingly, we affirm the decision of the board.”)


Workers' Compensation Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=197

SC19631 - Holston v. New Haven Police Dept. (Workers' Compensation; "On appeal, the defendant asserts that the board improperly determined that the plaintiff’s heart disease claim was timely. Specifically, the defendant claims that the board improperly affirmed the decision of the commissioner that the plaintiff’s hypertension and heart disease were separate diseases, each with its own one year limitation period for filing a claim for benefits. We disagree with the defendant and, accordingly, affirm the decision of the board.")


Workers' Compensation Appellate Law Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=155

AC38261 - Jodlowski v. Stanley Works (Workers' compensation; "On appeal the plaintiff claims that it was improper for the commissioner (1) to deny his request for lumbar fusion surgery, (2) to fail to consider the conflicting opinions of medical experts, and (3) to decline to order a commissioner’s medical examination, pursuant to General Statutes § 31-294f (a). We affirm the decision of the board.")



Workers' Compensation Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=95

SC19465 - Estate of Rock v. University of Connecticut (Workers' compensation; "The threshold jurisdictional issue in this appeal is whether the plaintiff, Estate of James Rock, has standing under the Workers’ Compensation Act (act), General Statutes § 31-275 et seq., to seek benefits for temporary total disability and permanent partial disability, as well as reimbursement for, inter alia, medical expenses, when the deceased employee, James Rock (decedent), did not file a claim for benefits…The plaintiff appealed to the Appellate Court, and we transferred the appeal to this court pursuant to General Statutes § 51-199 (c) and Practice Book § 65-1. On appeal, the plaintiff challenges the standing determination but not the commissioner’s denial of the motion to substitute the administrator of the decedent’s estate as the claimant and the request to change the case caption.")

AC37303 - Wiblyi v. McDonald’s Corp. (Workers' compensation; "We conclude that the board improperly remanded the matter with direction that the commissioner, essentially, reconsider his findings on the ground that there were 'ambiguities in the record . . . .’'")

AC37304 - Wiblyi v. McDonald’s Corp. (Workers' compensation; "The defendant McDonald’s Corporation appeals from the decision of the Workers’ Compensation Review Board (board) finding error in the decision of the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner (commissioner). On appeal, the defendant claims that the board improperly concluded, as a matter of law, that the equitable doctrine of laches was not available as a defense to the motion to preclude filed by the plaintiff, John M. Wiblyi, Jr. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the decision of the board.”)


Tort Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=51

SC19589 - Velecela v. All Habitat Services, LLC (Negligent infliction of bystander distress; "The plaintiff, Jenny Velecela, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendering summary judgment in favor of the defendant, All Habitat Services, LLC. The plaintiff contends that the trial court improperly concluded that her claim for bystander emotional distress was barred under General Statutes § 31-284 (a), the exclusivity provision of the Workers' Compensation Act (act), General Statutes § 31-275 et seq. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court. ")


Workers' Compensation Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=45

SC19377- Gonzalez v. O. & G. Industries, Inc. (Worker's Compensation; paid compensation benefits; "On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the trial court improperly concluded that the defendant had ‘paid compensation benefits’ on the basis of an incorrect interpretation of that term as used in § 31-291. We agree with the plaintiffs’ claim that the trial court improperly interpreted the term ‘paid compensation benefits’ in § 31-291, but further conclude that, even under the proper construction of the statute, no genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether the defendant paid compensation benefits to Thompson and McVay. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


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