Thursday, December 16, 2010

Connecticut Supreme Court Offers Clarification on Timliness of Heart & Hypertension Claims

In a long awaited decision, the Connecticut Supreme Court provided some clarity in the murky waters of when must a police officer or fire fighter bring a heart or hypertension claim under Connnecticut General Statute section 7-433c. In Ciarelli v. Town of Hamden which was released on December 21, 2010, the Court concluded 1.) that a claim for heart and hypertension benefits should not be treated as if it were a repetitive trauma type claim, but rather as an accidental injury, specific to a certain date and time and 2.) the one year statute of limitiation for bringing such a claim begins to run when a claimant receives "an actual diagnosis of hypertension communicated to (him) by a medical professional."

This establishes a black letter rule that seems to be far easier for claimant's and their attorneys to follow in analyzing whether or not an H&H claim is timely. If the doctor tells you you have "hypertension" then the clock begins to run. Isolated elevated readings do not a diagnosis of hypertension make.

If you or a member of your family is in the police or fire fighting fields, and you feel as if you may have a claim for Connecticut heart and hypertension benefits, please call our West Hartford Worker's Compensation office for a no obligation assesment of your particular scenario.