CASE NO. 1634 CRB-4-93-2
AUGUST 2, 1994
The claimant was represented by Albert E. Desrosiers, Esq., Cousins and Johnson.
The respondents were represented by Robert C. Pinciaro, Esq., Mihaly Kascak.
This Petition for Review from the January 25, 1993 Finding and Award of the Commissioner for the Fourth District was heard January 28, 1994 before a Compensation Review Panel consisting of Commission Chairman Jesse Frankl, Angelo L. dos Santos and Nancy A. Brouillet.
The respondents have petitioned for review from the Fourth District Commissioner's January 25, 1993 Finding and Award. The respondents contend that the claimant's November 8, 1990 injury, which occurred at an approved Division of Workers' Rehabilitation Placement pursuant to Sec. 31-283a but was otherwise unrelated to his prior compensable injury, is not compensable. We disagree, and therefore we affirm the trial commissioner.
The following facts are pertinent to this appeal. The claimant sustained a compensable low back injury on September 22, 1988 while in the employ of the respondent-employer, Caron Roofing Company. As a result of that original injury, the claimant could not return to roofing work and had to get another employment skill within his physical medical restrictions and within his educational parameters. The claimant sought assistance and guidance from the Division of Workers' Rehabilitation, after being advised to do so by the Workers' Compensation Commission. Thereafter, pursuant to General Statutes Sec. 31-283a, the claimant was approved for placement at the Connecticut Business Institute. On November 8, 1990, while attending class at the Connecticut Business Institute, the claimant's chair collapsed as he sat down, causing him to fall backward and injure his back, neck and left arm.
The trial commissioner concluded that the claim against the respondent-employer for an injury sustained at a training program site where the claimant was placed by the Division of Workers' Rehabilitation after he suffered an earlier compensable injury working for that employer, did arise from the employment where the claimant was first injured. Accordingly, the commissioner ordered the respondent-employer to pay workers' compensation benefits for the subsequent injury. This appeal followed.
On October 14, 1993, the claimant sought to have the respondents' appeal dismissed on technical grounds. The claimant's challenge to the respondents' failure to timely file their Reasons of Appeal was untimely and, therefore, does not serve as a proper basis for a motion to dismiss. Practice Book Sec. 4056; Sager v. GAB Business Services, Inc., 11 Conn. App. 693 (1987). The claimant's challenge to the respondents' failure to file a Motion to Correct is not a proper basis for a motion to dismiss, as the failure to file a Motion to Correct, the filing of which is not required by our rules, at most, goes to the reviewability of the trial commissioner's factual findings and not any question of appellate jurisdiction. See Practice Book Sec. 4056; Veillette v. State of Connecticut, 3 Conn. Workers' Comp. Rev. Op. 135, 288 CRD-2-83 (1987).
In Cole v. Norwalk Wilbert Vault Co., 4 Conn. Workers' Comp. Rev. Op. 155, 330 CRD-2-84 (1988), we concluded that a claimant's "injury during his vocational rehabilitation program is an event occurring in a chain of happenings following directly from a compensable injury without any intervening causative activity by the claimant. As such, it is an injury arising out of and in the course of the employment." Id., 157. The Cole decision is dispositive of this appeal; we decline the respondents' invitation to overrule or distinguish Cole. The respondents' argument to the contrary notwithstanding, the claimant was not required to offer any evidence that the chair collapsed due to the claimant's prior back injury nor does the collapsing chair qualify as an intervening cause sufficient to deny compensability of the injury sustained at the vocational rehabilitation site.
We, therefore, affirm the trial commissioner and deny the appeal.
Additionally, pursuant to Sec. 31-301c(b), we grant interest at the rate permitted by statute on any amount remaining unpaid during the pendency of the appeal.
Commissioners Angelo L. dos Santos and Nancy A. Brouillet concur.