DeAlmeida v. M.C.M. Stamping Corp

In DeAlmeida v. M.C.M. Stamping Corp., 29 Conn. App. 441, 445-49, 615 A.2d 1066 (1992), the Court stated that: "to adopt the construction of the statute that would exclude the issue of causation from those matters subject to the doctrine of preclusion would be effectively to disregard our duty to interpret statutory enactments in such a manner as to effectuate their manifest purpose or objective. . . . The language of General Statutes (Rev. to 1987) 31-297(b) now 31-294c(b) is absolute in its terms. 'If the employer or his legal representative fails to file the notice contesting liability within the time prescribed herein, the employer shall be conclusively presumed to have accepted the compensability of such alleged injury . . . and shall have no right thereafter to contest the employee's right to receive compensation on any grounds or the extent of his disability.' General Statutes Rev. to 1987 31-297(b) now 31-294c(b). We are obligated to interpret the legislative meaning inherent in the statutory enactment. . . . Where the language used in a statutory enactment is clear and unambiguous, we assume that the words themselves express the legislature's intent and there is no need to look further for interpretative guidance. . . . We are bound to interpret legislative intent by referring to what the legislative text contains, not by what it might have contained. . . We will not read into clearly expressed legislation provisions which do not find expression in its words. . . . The manifest purpose of the preclusion statute is to ensure that employers investigate claims promptly and that employees be timely advised of the specific reason for the denial of their claim. . . . Extending the exception beyond that of subject matter jurisdiction would be at variance with the legislative intent. . . . "The case law in this area is also clear. While the issue of the requisite contract of employment is not barred by the conclusive presumption under 31-297(b) now 31-294c(b) . . . the right to contest liability is, however, subject to the preclusive action of the commissioner where the defendant fails to file the requisite notice to contest liability within the time limited by statute. . . . Statutory and case law both demonstrate that the employer is precluded from asserting that an injury did not arise out of and in the course of employment if it fails to contest liability." DeAlmeida v. M.C.M. Stamping Corp., supra, 29 Conn. App. at 448-49.