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Decision Suzana Amorim v. Tewksbury Donuts, Inc.

Date: 04/25/2019
Organization: Department of Industrial Accidents
Docket Number: DIA Board No. 029555-14
Location: Boston
Referenced Sources: Suzana Amorim v. Tewksbury Donuts, Inc.
  • Employee: Suzana Amorim
  • Employer: Tewksbury Donuts, Inc.
  • Insurer: Massachusetts Retail Merchants SIG

LONG, J.  The insurer appeals from a Remand Decision ordering it to pay § 34 temporary total incapacity benefits from November 27, 2015, and continuing, for a September 22, 2014, workplace injury.  The case was previously appealed by the insurer and recommitted by this board for the judge to rule on objections made during the medical depositions, and to address the insurer’s argument that statements made by the judge in his decision call his impartiality into question.  Amorim v. Tewksbury Donuts, Inc., 31 Mass. Workers’ Comp. Rep. 93 (2017).  On recommittal, the administrative judge stated that his impartiality was not compromised.  He ruled on the medical deposition objections, but otherwise maintained the same rulings issued in his first decision.  In its appeal from the Remand Decision, the insurer again requests that the decision be vacated and the case forwarded to the senior judge for reassignment, due to the administrative judge’s lack of impartiality.  (Insurer br. 26-28).  We agree with the insurer that the Remand Decision demonstrates at least the appearance of partiality on the part of the administrative judge, calling into question his ability to render a fair decision.  Accordingly, the decision must be vacated and forwarded to the senior judge for reassignment and a hearing de novo on the merits. 

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