Henry v. City of Ansonia
Due process requires that both parties be properly advised as to the relief under consideration at the formal hearing so that they may prepare their most persuasive arguments. Edward Henry was a city of Ansonia police officer in 2005 when he sustained a rapid heartbeat incident while working a parade and was taken to the hospital. Henry filed no claim form, form 30C. The respondent filed a denial of claim form, form 43, specifying the injury as hypertension, arrhythmia and chest pain. In 2008, Henry filed a form 30C alleging hypertension and a second form alleged heart disease and sinus tachycardia. Both alleged repetitive trauma. The respondent did not file a form 43 in response. Following a formal hearing, the trial commissioner concluded that Henry was prescribed medication for hypertension in 2005 and, pursuant to the 2010 Connecticut Supreme Court case of Ciarlelli v. Town of Hamden, the hypertension claim was time barred and the commission lacked subject matter jurisdiction over it. No medication was prescribed for heart disease or sinus tachycardia in 2005, nor was the claimant suffering from these ailments. Therefore, the 2008 form 30C alleging repetitive trauma for heart disease and sinus tachycardia was found timely filed. Because the respondent did not file a corresponding form 43 in 2008, the commissioner granted the claimant's motion to preclude as to heart disease and sinus tachycardia. Both parties' motions to correct were denied. Both parties appealed. The claimant successfully contended that the trial commissioner noticed the formal hearing exclusively for consideration of the motion to preclude and improperly considered other issues, specifically the timeliness of the claim for hypertension benefits. The Compensation Review Board affirmed and reversed the decision in part. The hearing notices referred exclusively to the motion to preclude. At the hearing, the trial commissioner did not notify the parties he would be ruling on any other issue. The decision prejudiced the claimant and the matter was remanded for a hearing on the issue of subject matter jurisdiction. As the motion to preclude was properly noticed and decided after the consideration of factual evidence at a contested hearing, the decision on that issue was affirmed.