General Laws of Massachusetts - Chapter 152 Workers’ Compensation - Section 11B Procedure for hearings; depositions; record of proceedings

Section 11B. Procedures within the division of dispute resolution shall be as simple and summary as reasonable. The commissioner shall promulgate rules providing for the use of depositions and interrogatories. In any proceeding under this chapter, the division shall give notice of the date, time, and place of the proceeding to all parties in interest. Any member of the board may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, and examine such parts of the books and records of the parties to a proceeding as relate to questions before such member. The fee for attending as witness before the department or a member of the board shall be that provided for witnesses before the superior court department of the trial court. The superior court shall have jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of this section relating to the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the examination of books and records.

A member may upon the filing of a written request of any party appearing before him, together with interrogatories and cross-interrogatories, if any, request officers in other jurisdictions, having power and duties similar to those of a member of the board, to take depositions or testimony of persons or witnesses residing in such jurisdictions. On the return of any such deposition to the division it shall be forwarded to the appropriate member. A reasonable fee for services in connection with the taking of such depositions and the expenses thereof shall be assessed upon the requesting party.

The expenses for services in connection with the taking of depositions shall be paid by the party requesting that such witness be deposed or whose witness is ordered to be deposed; provided, however, that if the decision of the member or reviewing board is in favor of the employee, the cost of such proceeding shall be added to the amount awarded to the employee and be paid by the insurer under the provisions of this chapter.

The evidence at the hearing shall be taken by an employee of the department sworn to record the entire proceeding. The record of the hearing shall be transcribed verbatim or electronically recorded. Upon the request of a member or the reviewing board, or at the request of a party, a transcript or recording or both, whichever such party requests shall be forwarded to such party without charge. The original recording shall remain in the control of the department. Verbatim transcripts shall be made manually from the stenographic notes only if a certified copy of the proceedings is required by the reviewing board or a court of the commonwealth. Decisions of members of the board shall set forth the issues in controversy, the decision on each and a brief statement of the grounds for each such decision. Decisions shall issue no more than twenty-eight days following the close of testimony, unless further extension is authorized in writing by the director of dispute resolution.

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Last modified: September 11, 2015