Trader v. Caulk
In Trader v. Caulk, 1992 WL 148094 (Del. Super.), the Court reviewed a decision by the Industrial Accident Board. The Board held a hearing regarding a claimant's application for total disability. It heard evidence from doctors on both sides. The claimant's doctor said that he was totally disabled and could not work. The insurance carrier's doctor stated that he was able to work with restrictions. When the worker left after the conclusion of the hearing, members of the Board watched him walk to his motor vehicle, unbeknownst to him. The Board included its observations of his physical abilities in its findings and denial of total disability. Subsequently, the Board issued a decision that the worker was not totally disabled from working.
The Court reversed the Board's decision and remanded it to the Board for a new hearing. The Court found that the Board had improperly considered evidence outside of the record and had not given the claimant an opportunity to respond to the inferences that it had drawn from this consideration.