KENNETH BAILEY, CLAIMANT-APPELLEE v. TOWN OF GUILFORD, EMPLOYER and FRANK B. HALL/CIRMA, INSURER, RESPONDENTS-APPELLANTS

CASE NO. 464 CRD-3-86Workers’ Compensation Commission
APRIL 7, 1988

The claimant was represented at the trial level by Donna Fiorentino, Esq., and on appeal by David J. Morrissey, Esq.

The respondents were represented by Edward Gallant, Esq. and Robert P. Oakland, Esq., both of Gallant, Gallant Culver.

This Petition for Review from the February 26, 1986 Finding and Award of the Commissioner at Large acting for the Third District was heard October 2, 1987 before a Compensation Review Division panel consisting of the Commission Chairman, John Arcudi, and Commissioners Gerald Kolinsky and A. Thomas White, Jr.

FINDING AND AWARD

1. The Finding and Award of the trial Commissioner is affirmed and adopted as the Finding and Award of this Division.

The matter is remanded to the District for further proceedings to determine whether the matter was unreasonable and whether interest and attorney’s fees should be awarded to the claimant.

OPINION

JOHN ARCUDI, Chairman.

Claimant, a regular member of the Guilford police force, suffered a compensable back injury February 7, 1983. After a period of incapacity he returned to work. On April 12, 1983, while at work, he sneezed and felt something pop in his back. The ruling below found that the April 12, 1983 sneeze was a recurrence of Claimant’s February 7, 1983 back injury.

Respondents have appealed the February 26, 1986 Finding and Award. There was ample evidence presented from which the trial Commissioner could reasonably conclude that the April 12, 1983 events were a recurrence of the February injury[1] . Our review of the factual conclusions of the trial Commissioner is limited to a determination of whether there was some evidence to support the commissioner’s conclusion and if the conclusion was a result of “an incorrect application of the law to the subordinate facts or from an inference illegally or unreasonably drawn from them”, Adzima v. UAC/Norden Division, 177 Conn. 107, 118 (1979).

As there was such evidence and as conclusions were properly drawn from the evidence, we affirm the February 26, 1986 Finding and Award. However, we remand for additional proceedings to determine whether the matter was unreasonably contested and whether interest and attorney fees should be awarded to the claimant.

Commissioners Gerald Kolinsky and A. Thomas White, Jr. concur.

[1] Claimant’s Exhibit #2 contained an April 19, 1983 Orthopedic Consultation in which Michael P. Connair, M.D. noted, “Ken was doing well with his low back pain until a week ago. He then sneezed while at work . . . and he felt something pop in his lower back. . . He has a recurrence of the low back pain that was clearing”

The same exhibit also offered a May 17, 1983 letter from Dr. Connair to Frank B. Hall Risk Management, Inc. The letter stated in pertinent part:

“This note concerns Kenneth Bailey. He has informed me that his benefits were cut off because of a misunderstanding on a medical report. The report states that he “sneezed while at work” and this brought on his pain again. This is precisely the same pain that he had prior to the sneeze and the sneeze did not cause the pain, it simply aggravated the condition for which he is given workmens compensation benefits. This was not a new injury, and it should be considered part of the original injury . . . .”