The Connecticut Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned a lower court ruling that allowed a firefighter to collect heart disease benefits.
The Supreme Court overturned a state appeals court decision that upheld a Compensation Review Board decision allowing benefits for Christopher Clark, a part-time firefighter with the Cohanzie Fire Department.
Mr. Clark applied for heart disease benefits in August 2017, two months after suffering a heart attack that required quadruple bypass surgery.
The City of Waterford contested compensation because Mr. Clark did not work full-time until June 1997; he was hired part-time in 1992.
A commissioner approved the claim and the review board upheld the approval, a decision upheld by a lower appellate court.
The employer appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the case was wrongly decided because heart disease benefits were only given to firefighters who worked more than 20 hours per week, which Mr. Clark failed to prove.
While recognizing that part-time firefighters perform the same functions as full-time members, the high court said the city is not required to pay part-time benefits under the statute.
The court sent the case back to the commissioner to further determine entitlement to benefits.