Trouble Behind, Trouble Ahead: Syzmaszek meets Garland-Hall

Posted by James Aspell | Apr 20, 2009 | 0 Comments

I'm not quite sure what to make of this opinion. I am quite familiar with the Syzmaszek case having defended the City of Meriden in the matter for a number of years. I know all of the parties involved well, and am certain that further appeals will follow. I also have a case of potentially significant value in my office right now whose fate may be determined by how the dust finally settles in this showdown. The issue here usually presents itself in only the most serious of comp injuries. A situation where an employee suffers a catastrophic injury and is never able to get off temporary total disability. In other words, he or she is in essence a permanat total. Along the way, however, the worker receives a PPD award which entiles him or her to a specific benefit under CGS Section 31-308a. In this most recent interpreteation of what to do in such a scenario, the CRB seems to take the view that the 31-308 permanency award is subsumed by the weeks of TT that roll by over that period of time that the permananency would have been due. I have a problem with this. As I understand it, 31-308 PPD benefits, as defined in the Statutes, shall be paid "in addition to" any other benefits. How then, can gthe CRB conclude that just because a claimant never got off TT, he or she is no longer entitlked to receive this "addition"? As I say, I suspect an appeal to the Supreme Court will be coming. In the meantime, I'm not planning on wrting off that case in my office just yet...

About the Author

James Aspell

Principal since August 1, 2006 James F. Aspell is the principal and managing attorney of the firm which he started in 2006 following 20 years of litigation practice in a mid -size firm in Hartford, Connecticut. Jim focuses his practice in the areas of worker's compensation and personal injury l...

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