Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Compensability of workplace brawl a question of fact

In Fekieta v. Drill Masters, Eldarado Tool, Inc., the CRB was called upon to review the Trial Commissioners decision that a workplace fight between two employees was not compensable. Generally speaking, Connecticut law holds that if you are injured as a result of a fight at work, then that is not causally related to the job itself and thus is not covered for the purposes of workers comp. In Fekieta, that facts were somewhat unique and an argument was made that the fight between the employees was engendered by one worker interfering with the other doing his job. Under certain conditions, I can see this argument carrying the day however in this case, the trial commissioner simply did not find the claimant credible. Not surprisingly, the CRB did not disturb the decision. Questions of credibility are solely within the province of the trier of fact.

Conn. Senate OKs cop workers' comp in animal cases

From The Associated Press tonight

The Associated Press Wednesday, April 28, 2010; 7:48 PM
HARTFORD, Conn. -- The Connecticut Senate has approved a bill allowing police officers to seek workers' compensation for stress after using deadly force on mammals.
The bill stems from the police killing of a 200-pound pet chimpanzee named Travis that went on a rampage in Stamford last year and mauled Charla Nash, a friend of the animal's owner.
Senators passed the measure 29-4 on Wednesday. It now awaits House action.
Stamford Police Officer Frank Chiafari (chee-uh-FAHR'-ee), who shot the animal, told lawmakers he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after the harrowing experience but his claim for workers' compensation coverage was denied.
Under current state law, an officer can receive mental or emotional impairment benefits after using deadly force against a human being but not an animal.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

CRB reaffirms Totalityof Factors Test

In Cruz v. 21 Catherine Avenue, the CRB reaffirmed its position that in analyzing whether or not an injured worker is an employee for the purposes of Connecticut workers compensation law, requires the trial commissioner to look at the totallity of factors annexed to the worker and the principal. The Totality of factors test is set forth in Hanson v. Transportation General, Inc., 245 Conn. 613 (1998).

If you or a loved one are injured at work ad there is a question as to whether or not the victim is an employee, and thus eligible for workers compensation benefits, the safe course is to consult and experienced, board certified Hartford workers compensation lawyer.