Vachon v. General Dynamics Corp

In Vachon v. General Dynamics Corp., 29 Conn. App. 654, 659, 617 A.2d 476 (1992), cert. denied, 224 Conn. 927, 619 A.2d 852 (1993) the Court stated that "the language of 31-297 (b) is plain and unambiguous. In drafting the statute, the legislature mandated only that the notice contesting liability be filed within twenty days. General Statutes 31-297 (b). It then provided that failure to comply would result in the preclusion of employer defenses. . . . The legislature did not provide any form of penalty for the failure to send such notice to the claimant, but limited the invocation of preclusion to the failure to file notice contesting liability with the commission. Id. If it intended to require the employer to send notice contesting liability to the employee within the twenty day period, it would have said so in the statute. The legislature would have included the phrase 'on or before the twentieth day after he has received a written notice of claim' after the phrase 'a copy thereof shall be sent to the employee' if it intended to place that time limitation on notification of contest to the claimant by the employer. To avoid preclusion, notice contesting liability must be filed within twenty days with the workers' compensation commissioner. The employer is not required to send such notice to the employee within the twenty day time period." Id.