EVANS v. LIGHTOLIER, INC., 517 CRD-2-86 (5-20-87)

EDWARD EVANS, CLAIMANT-APPELLEE vs. LIGHTOLIER, INC., RESPONDENT-APPELLANT

CASE NO. 517 CRD-2-86Workers’ Compensation Commission
MAY 20, 1987

The claimant was represented by Martin M. Rutchik, Esq.

The respondent was represented by Frank A. May, Esq., Montstream May.

This Petition for Review from the September 25, 1986 Ruling issued by the Second District Commissioner was heard April 24, 1987 before a Compensation Review Division panel consisting of the Commission Chairman, John Arcudi, and Commissioners Frank Verrilli and Michael Sherman.

OPINION

JOHN ARCUDI, Chairman.

Respondents have appealed the 2nd District Commissioner’s September 25, 1986 ruling ordering them to provide transcripts of the depositions of Doctors Dresner, Hornblow and Wabrek. They argue there is no statutory authority for such an order. Their argument concerning the absence of statutory authority is reminiscent of the points raised in Thomas v. Carpenter Technology Corp., 247 CRD-4-83, 2 Conn. Workers’ Comp. Rev. Op. 127 (March 13, 1985), appeal dismissed, 198 Conn. 804 (1986). We cited there the language of cases granting to the Workers’ Compensation Commission even broader discretion in evidentiary matters than was granted to the courts.

With respect to the issues here, there has been since 1976 a statute covering the furnishing of depositions in the Superior Court, Sec. 52-148d C.G.S. The third paragraph of that Statute states:

“Sec. 52-148d. Requirements for taking of depositions. Party subject to taking deposition . . . (c) The party on whose behalf the deposition of an adverse party is taken shall be subject to having his deposition taken on behalf of such adverse party. The party on whose behalf a deposition is taken shall at his expense provide a copy of the deposition to each adverse party.”

We recognize that there may be cases, especially those relating to occupational disease, where a claimant employee would be taking depositions from multiple employers and that the requirement to provide copies of depositions to opposing parties could impose excessive financial burdens on such claimants. However, in that type of case, the trial Commissioner has sufficient other means within the Workers’ Compensation law to provide relief. Sec. 31-298, C.G.S.

Insofar as possible, practice before the Commission should conform to the rules and the statutes laid down for the courts. This is becoming increasingly necessary as the number of litigated matters before the Commission continues to proliferate and as the issues raised continue to become more complex. Therefore, we hold that Sec. 52-148d with respect to deposition procedure shall also be the rule for proceedings before the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner.

The Order of the Second District Commissioner is affirmed.

Commissioners Frank Verrilli and Michael Sherman concur.