2-4-703, MCA

Polk v. Planet Ins. Co. [5/7/98] 1998 MTWCC 37After the Montana Supreme Court reversed and remanded the WCC's decision affirming a DOL hearing officer in an occupational disease case, the WCC in turn remanded to the DOL. Appellant then asked the WCC to reconsider the remand, urging the WCC to hold its own evidentiary hearing and resolve the claims or, in the alternative, remand to the DOL with certain orders and instructions. Request denied because the WCC's jurisdiction in this matter is appellate jurisdiction, meaning it cannot substitute its original determinations for those of the Department. Under both section 2-4-703, MCA and ARM 24.5.350(5), any additional evidence must be taken by the agency. Appellant's arguments should be directed to the Department on remand.
McKay, Sr. v. City of Choteau [3/4/99] 1999 MTWCC 20 Appellant's request to present additional evidence (testimony of a toxicologist by whom he wanted to be examined) was denied where claimant did not argue good reasons for failing to present that evidence at his hearing in the Department of Labor.

McKay, Sr. v. City of Choteau [1/4/99] 1999 MTWCC 1 Applying section 2-4-703, MCA, once a hearing has been held on an OD claim in the DOL, new evidence is allowed on appeal only if it is material and there were good reasons for failure to present it before the agency. Upon such a showing, the remedy is remand to the agency for receipt of the evidence and reconsideration of the decision. Here, record shows claimant knew about and presented evidence on the issue of repair of the patrol car he drove as a police officer, omissions from which were the subject of his OD claim. Motion denied where claimant did not show that the proffered witness was unavailable at the hearing or that he was prevented from obtaining and presenting the information at the hearing.

Partin v. State Fund [1/13/97] 1997 MTWCC 3 Under section 2-4-703, MCA, to prevail on a motion to present new evidence in the WCC on appeal of a DOL hearing officer decision, claimant must demonstrate two things: (1) that the proffered testimony is "material"; and (2) that "there were good reasons for his failure to present it in the proceeding before the agency. He has not shown "good reasons" where the proposed witnesses were co-workers, whose identities were known to him before trial, and no excuse for failing to present the evidence earlier was offered. As to the witness not timely disclosed, appellant cannot use this motion procedure to circumvent the hearing officer's decision to exclude. That issue is part of the appeal and should be handled in that fashion.
Erickson v. Champion International [07/26/95] 1995 MTWCC 58 This section and ARM 24.5.350(4) permit new evidence on appeal before the Workers’ Compensation Court only where there were good reasons for the failure to present the evidence below. Where claimant was informed he had the right to an attorney below, and was in fact in contact with counsel prior to his Department of Labor hearing, his pro se status before the DOL is not alone sufficient reason to allow introduction of additional medical evidence, even if such evidence is material to his case. Where claimant offers no good reason for his failure to present the evidence before the department other than his pro se status, the Court’s allowance of new evidence on appeal would permit every party to proceed pro se before the Department, then to hire counsel and secure a new hearing on appeal.

Wingfield v. State Compensation Ins. Fund [05/19/95] 1995 MTWCC 37 Although Workers’ Compensation Court rule 24.5.350(4) contemplates acceptance of new evidence in the Workers’ Compensation Court on appeal from a decision of the Department of Labor and Industry, where claimant has shown entitlement to present new evidence, controversy over appropriate rehabilitation option for claimant is more appropriately remanded to the Department hearing officer, a procedure contemplated by section 2-4-703, MCA.