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Opinion

LAVERY, C. J. The plaintiff, Rada Bidoae, appeals from the decision of the workers’ compensation review board (board) affirming the determination by the work- ers’ compensation commissioner (commissioner) that she was not entitled to benefits pursuant to General Statutes § 31-307. On appeal, the plaintiff maintains that the board improperly affirmed the commissioner’s deci- sion (1) to compel the plaintiff to undergo a vocational rehabilitation examination by a nonphysician and its subsequent decision to exclude evidence from her own vocational rehabilitation specialist, (2) that opinions by the Social Security Administration are not binding on the workers’ compensation commission (commission) and (3) that the plaintiff had not sustained her burden of proving her total incapacity. We affirm the decision of the board.

On or about May 30, 1999, while working for the defendant employer,1 the Hartford Golf Club, the plain- tiff sustained a compensable injury to her back. She initially was treated by the Connecticut Multispeciality Group, where she was diagnosed with an acute low back sprain and lumbar spondylosis. A magnetic reso- nance imaging procedure was performed on June 27, 1999, which revealed a small disc herniation. The plain- tiff received follow-up care by Albert Casale, a physi- cian, who placed the plaintiff out of work on June 22, 1999, but then released her to a light-sedentary duty work capacity on July 20, 1999. In the fall of 1999, Casale increased her work restrictions to encompass no excessive bending and a ten pound weight restric- tion. The plaintiff also received epidural injections at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford.

The plaintiff was then treated by W. Jay Krompinger, a physician, who opined that the plaintiff had a light- sedentary duty work capacity, and she eventually was discharged after achieving maximum medical improve- ment. On August 8, 2000, Krompinger found that the plaintiff had an 8 percent permanent partial impairment to her back. He diagnosed her with central back pain secondary to a degeneration of her L5-S1 disc.

On September 18, 2000, the plaintiff underwent a vocational rehabilitation examination with Hank Ler- ner, a nonphysician vocational rehabilitation specialist. The defendants requested that the plaintiff submit to their own vocational rehabilitation examination with David Soja, another nonphysician, but she refused. The defendants moved to compel the examination, and a formal hearing on the issue was held before the commis- sioner. On July 24, 2001, the commissioner ordered the plaintiff to undergo the defendants’ vocational examina- tion. He further ordered that if the plaintiff refused to submit to the examination, she would be precluded from entering evidence from her own vocational expert.

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