Substitute House Bill No. 6583
          Substitute House Bill No. 6583

              PUBLIC ACT NO. 97-106


AN ACT CONCERNING COST OF MEDICAL DEPOSITIONS.


    Be  it  enacted  by  the  Senate  and House of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section  31-298  of  the  general  statutes is
repealed and the following is substituted in  lieu
thereof:
    Both   parties  may  appear  at  any  hearing,
either  in  person  or  by   attorney   or   other
accredited representative, and no formal pleadings
shall be required,  beyond  any  informal  notices
that  the  commission  approves.  In all cases and
hearings under the provisions of this chapter, the
commissioner shall proceed, so far as possible, in
accordance with the rules of equity. He shall  not
be  bound  by the ordinary common law or statutory
rules of evidence or  procedure,  but  shall  make
inquiry,   through   oral   testimony,  deposition
testimony or written and  printed  records,  in  a
manner  that  is  best calculated to ascertain the
substantial rights of the parties  and  carry  out
the provisions and intent of this chapter. No fees
shall  be  charged  to   either   party   by   the
commissioner  in  connection  with  any hearing or
other  procedure,  but  the   commissioner   shall
furnish  at  cost  (1)  certified  copies  of  any
testimony, award or other matter which may  be  of
record  in his office, and (2) duplicates of audio
cassette  recordings  of  any   formal   hearings.
Witnesses  subpoenaed by the commissioner shall be
allowed the fees and traveling expenses  that  are
allowed  in civil actions, to be paid by the party
in whose interest the  witnesses  are  subpoenaed.
WHEN   LIABILITY   OR   EXTENT  OF  DISABILITY  IS
CONTESTED   BY   FORMAL   HEARING    BEFORE    THE
COMMISSIONER,  THE  CLAIMANT SHALL BE ENTITLED, IF
HE PREVAILS ON FINAL JUDGMENT, TO PAYMENT FOR ORAL
TESTIMONY  OR DEPOSITION TESTIMONY RENDERED ON HIS
BEHALF BY A COMPETENT PHYSICIAN, SURGEON OR  OTHER
MEDICAL  PROVIDER,  INCLUDING THE STENOGRAPHIC AND
VIDEOTAPE RECORDING COSTS THEREOF,  IN  CONNECTION
WITH  THE CLAIM, THE COMMISSIONER TO DETERMINE THE
REASONABLENESS OF SUCH CHARGES.

Approved June 6, 1997