CASE NO. 1995 CRB-7-94-3Workers’ Compensation Commission
AUGUST 11, 1995

The claimant was represented by Douglas P. Karp, Esq.

The employer was represented by Richard L. Aiken, Jr., Esq., Pomeranz, Drayton Stabnick.

This Petition for Review from the March 16, 1994 Finding and Award of the Commissioner acting for the Seventh District was heard January 13, 1995 before a Compensation Review Board panel consisting of the Commission Chairman Jesse M. Frankl and Commissioners George Waldron and Amado J. Vargas.



The respondent employer has appealed from the March 16, 1994 Finding and Award of the Commissioner acting for the Seventh District. In that finding and award, the trial commissioner concluded that the claimant suffered a compensable occupational disease. In support of its appeal, the employer contends that prior to 1987, the claimant believed that his symptoms of asthma were caused by his employment, and therefore the claimant’s notice of claim filed on June 7, 1990 was time barred by §31-294 C.G.S. We affirm the trial commissioner.

Section 31-294c C.G.S. provides a three-year statute of limitation for filing an occupational disease claim.[1] InBremner v. Eidlitz Son, Inc., 118 Conn. 666, 669-70 (1934), the Connecticut Supreme Court held that the statute of limitation as to an occupational disease begins to run only when symptoms are manifested, and that the symptoms are only manifested when they “plainly appear, not when it was merely suspected or doubtful.” This Board has held that the date on which a claimant first becomes aware of a “possible causal relationship” between the employment and the symptoms will not start the statute of limitation running. Mingrone v. Burndy Corporation, 9 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 252, 254, 1109 CRD-7-90-9 (November 21, 1991). We have further held that the “date of manifestation is therefore a factual question. On such a question we will not disturb the trial commissioner’s conclusions unless they are without evidence, contrary to law or based on impermissible or unreasonable factual inferences.” Deangelo v. Allegheny LudlumCorp., 9 Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 126, 128, 970 CRD-8-90-1 (May 16, 1991), citing Fair v. People’s Savings Bank, 207 Conn. 535

In the instant case, the trial commissioner found that the claimant did not become aware of the causal relationship between his asthma symptoms and his employment until he received a medical report on August 26, 1991. There is ample evidence in the record to support the trial commissioner’s conclusion, including the finding that a treating pulmonary specialist stated on March 13, 1991 that the etiology of the claimant’s asthma was “unclear.” (Finding of Fact No. 10). Accordingly, we will not disturb the trial commissioner’s conclusion. See Deangelo, supra.

In addition, 31-294c(c) C.G.S. provides that a written notice of claim is not necessary where the employer has provided medical treatment within the statute of limitation period. That section provides in part that “[f]ailure to provide a notice of claim under subsection (a) of this section shall not bar maintenance of the proceedings if . . . within the applicable period an employee has been furnished, for the injury with respect to which compensation is claimed, with medical or surgical care as provided in section 31-294d.” In the instant case, the employer provided the claimant with medical treatment for his asthma through its company physician from 1985 to 1987. (Finding Nos. 6 and 17(c)). Therefore, the trial commissioner properly found that the claim was not time barred pursuant to § 31-294c(c). SeePagliuco v. United Illuminating Company, 5 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 27, 427 CRD-4-85 (March 29, 1988).

The decision of the trial commissioner is affirmed.

Commissioners George Waldron and Amado J. Vargas concur.

[1] “No proceedings for compensation under the provisions of this chapter shall be maintained unless a written notice of claim for compensation is given within one year from the date of the accident or within three years from the first manifestation of a symptom of the occupational disease. . . .” § 31-294c C.G.S.