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Cornell v. Bridal

Superior Court of Delaware, Sussex

April 17, 2015

Candle light Bridal

Marco Cornell Pro se Plaintiff

Paige J. Schmittinger Deputy Attorney General Delaware Department of Justice

Dear Parties:

Before the Court is Marco Cornell's ("Claimant") appeal from the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board (the "UIAB" or "Board"). Specifically, Claimant is appealing the UIAB's dismissal of his unemployment insurance benefits claim, and the subsequent denial for a rehearing of his case. Based on the following, the Board's decision is AFFIRMED.


Substantive Facts

Claimant was employed at Candle Light Bridal ("Employer"), located at 314 Main Street, Millsboro, Delaware.[1] He was employed as an Office Clerk, and worked at Employer from April 1, 2012 to January 28, 2014.[2] While there, Claimant made $9.50 per hour.[3] Claimant is a life long Delaware resident, [4] and currently resides in Long Neck, Delaware.[5]

Claimant stopped working at Employer on January 28, 2014 due to health complications.[6]The events leading up to Claimant's resignation at work are as follows: prior to January 28, 2014, Claimant did not come into work for a week, because he believed he had the flu.[7] When Claimant failed to recover, an ambulance was called to take him to the hospital.[8] Upon arrival at the hospital, it was discovered that Claimant's blood sugar was over 900, despite Claimant never having diabetic issues in the past.[9] Claimant stayed at the hospital for a week before being sent home.[10] When Claimant returned home, he began having pains in his leg, and was sent back to the hospital in response to problems with his breathing.[11] During his second hospital stay, he was informed his leg was "full of blood clots and they had traveled to [his] heart."[12] Claimant stayed at the hospital for a few days after the clots were discovered and treated.[13] In addition to the medicine and treatment Claimant received, he was instructed to not move much and to stay away from work for six months.[14]Claimant's doctors advised him not to return to work until October, 2014, though his doctor did write a letter stating that Claimant could work "light duty a couple hours a day, " after a Division of Unemployment Insurance ("DUI") Claims Deputy ("Claims Deputy") denied Claimant unemployment insurance benefits.[15] Due to Claimant's absence from work, Employer was forced to fill his position, causing Claimant to seek employment elsewhere.

Procedural History

Claimant filed a claim for unemployment insurance benefits on April 27, 2014.[16] Employer filed a separation notice with the DUI on April 28, 2014, and indicated Claimant separated for medical purposes.[17] Due to the answers Claimant provided when he filed his claim, and the answers given by Employer on the separation notice, the Claims Deputy denied Claimant unemployment insurance.[18] The Claims Deputy explained that under 19 Del. C. §3314 (8), any total or partial unemployment due to an individual's inability to work, including unemployment stemming from medical reasons, prevents the individual from receiving unemployment insurance benefits.[19] The Claims Deputy's decision was mailed to Claimant on June 18, 2014.[20] Claimant timely appealed the decision on June 24, 2014.[21]

An administrative hearing was held on July 10, 2014 ("July 10 hearing") before an Appeals Referee.[22] Much of the substantive facts discussed above were uncovered at the July 10 hearing. Upon hearing all the evidence, the Appeals Referee affirmed the Claims Deputy's determination to deny benefits in a written decision dated July 21, 2014.[23] Claimant timely appealed the Appeals Referee's decision to the UIAB.[24]

On August 12, 2014, the UIAB mailed notice to Claimant, indicating that Claimant's UIAB hearing would be held at 10:40 AM on August 27, 2014 at 1114 South Dupont Highway, Suite 103 in Dover, Delaware.[25] Claimant was advised to arrive at the specified location at least 15 minutes prior to the 10:40 AM start time, and that his failure to arrive on time could result in his appeal being dismissed.[26] On August 27, 2014, Claimant's UIAB hearing began promptly at 10:40 AM.[27]Claimant failed to appear on time, and at 10:54 AM, after waiting for Claimant to arrive for approximately 14 minutes, the UIAB dismissed Claimant's case.[28]

Later that day, after the hearing was dismissed, Claimant arrived at the designated Dover, Delaware location, and filed a "re-appeal."[29] The UIAB treated the "re-appeal" request as a motion for rehearing.[30] Claimant, then filed an appeal with this Court on September 9, 2014.[31] The Board then issued a written decision explaining that the decision to grant a motion for rehearing was entirely within its discretion.[32] It stated:

Claimant does not argue that he did not receive notice of the hearing. Based on the records provided by the Department of Labor, notice was properly mailed to the Claimant. The Board finds that the Claimant was provided proper notice of the hearing and has been afforded ample opportunity to present testimony and evidence. The Board finds no ...

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