Public Act No. 11-205 significantly impacts the way in which the Connecticut Worker’s Compensation Act (C.G.S. § 31-275 through 31-355b) is applied. Generally, under Connecticut’s Worker’s Compensation laws, when an employee is injured in a work related accident, he/she is entitled to worker’s compensation benefits for their injuries. The employer is required to pay both indemnity and medical benefits, in exchange for the employee’s right to sue. However, if the accident was caused by a third party, either the employer or the employee may bring …Continue Reading
Preclusion. In Connecticut Workers’ Compensation, it’s a word that employers, claims handlers, and respondent’s counsel alike hope never to have associated with one of their files. Which begs the questions, what exactly is preclusion? How can it come into a case? And how can it be avoided?
After a claimant serves the respondent and the Workers’ Compensation Commission with a notice of a claim for benefits (Form 30C), the respondent has 28 days to: 1) accept the claim; 2) properly contest the claim (Form 43); …Continue Reading
The Compensation Review Board (CRB) in DeForest v. Yale-New Haven Hospital, 6075 CRB-3-16-2 (April 6, 2017) issued a ruling that has continued the erosion of the off-premises lunch defense. In the late 1990s, injuries that occurred during an off-premises lunch break were typically not compensable based on the ground that such activity did not occur in the course and scope of employment. See Kaplan v. State of Connecticut/Department of Health Services, 2012 CRB-1-94-4 (September 11, 1995). The continued erosion of the off-premises lunch …Continue Reading
If we assume that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) commentary that mandatory post-accident drug testing will deter the reporting of workplace safety incidents, it will make it difficult for the employer/respondent to document and collect evidence to properly investigate the claim. In Connecticut, if a claimant’s intoxication, whether by alcohol or legal/illegal drugs, is a substantial contributing factor in causing a work place accident, then the accident is not compensable. See C.G.S. § 31-275(1)(C). The respondent is required to prove that the claimant’s …Continue Reading
The Compensation Review Board (CRB) in Connecticut found medical marijuana to be reasonable and necessary medical treatment, and thus, compensable in Petrini v. Marcus Dairy, Inc., 6021 CRB-7-15-7 (May 12, 2016). It is black letter law that “reasonable and necessary” medical care is curative or remedial. “Curative or remedial care is that which seeks to repair the damage to health caused by the job even if not enough health is restored to enable the employee to return to work. Any therapy designed to keep …Continue Reading
Public Act No. 16-112 amends Section 31-294c, which requires a municipal employee/dependent who files a claim for benefits to send a copy of the written notice of the claim (Form 30C/Form 30D) to the town clerk of the municipality where the employee works. Before the Act, written notice could be sent to almost anyone in a municipality, which created the risk of the claim not being responded to in a timely fashion. The respondent must file a Form 43 contesting a claim, or begin making …Continue Reading
Generally, the average weekly wages (AWW) equals total gross wages from the 52 weeks prior to the injury, divided by the number of calendar weeks the claimant was employed during that 52-week time period. C.G.S. §31-310. When making the calculation, we do not include absences of seven or more consecutive calendar days or partial weeks worked either at the beginning of employment or on the week of injury. Id.
However, the Appellate Court in Menard v. Willimantic Waste Paper Co., 2016 Conn. App. LEXIS …Continue Reading