Standard of Review Workers' Compensation Appeals In Connecticut
The standard of review applicable to workers' compensation appeals:
"The principles that govern our standard of review in workers' compensation appeals are well established.
The conclusions drawn by the commissioner from the facts found must stand unless they result from an incorrect application of the law to the subordinate facts or from an inference illegally or unreasonably drawn from them. . . . Besade v. Interstate Security Services, 212 Conn. 441, 449, 562 A.2d 1086 (1989).
Neither the review board nor this court has the power to retry facts. See Six v. Thomas O'Connor & Co., 235 Conn. 790, 798-99, 669 A.2d 1214 (1996). . . . Doe v. Stamford, 241 Conn. 692, 696-97, 699 A.2d 52 (1997).
It is well established that although not dispositive, we accord great weight to the construction given to the workers' compensation statutes by the commissioner and review board. . . . a state agency is not entitled, however, to special deference when its determination of a question of law has not previously been subject to judicial scrutiny. . . . Duni v. United Technologies Corp., 239 Conn. 19, 24-25, 682 A.2d 99 (1996); Davis v. Norwich, 232 Conn. 311, 317, 654 A.2d 1221 (1995).
Where . . . a workers' compensation appeal involves an issue of statutory construction that has not yet been subjected to judicial scrutiny, this court has plenary power to review the administrative decision. Doe v. Stamford, supra, 697;
see Davis v. Norwich, supra, 317. . . . Dowling v. Slotnik, 244 Conn. 781, 798, 712 A.2d 396, cert. denied, 525 U.S. 1017, 119 S. Ct. 542, 142 L. Ed. 2d 451 (1998)." Fimiani v. Star Gallo Distributors, Inc., 248 Conn. 635, 641-42, 729 A.2d 212 (1999).
Our Supreme Court has previously construed 31-293 to facts similar to the ones now before this court. See Love v. J. P. Stevens & Co., 218 Conn. 46, 587 A.2d 1042 (1991); Enquist v. General Datacom, supra, 218 Conn. 19.