Limitations Periods: Claim Filing: Estoppel

Lako v. ERD/UEF, 2004 MT 290, 323 Mont. 334, 100 P.3d 142 Affirmed The Supreme Court affirmed the determination by the WCC that the Uninsured Employers’ Fund (UEF) was not equitably estopped from asserting time filing requirements against the claimant where the claimant did not prove the first element of equitable estoppel--that the UEF misrepresented or concealed a material fact. UEF’s 1984 statement that it was not paying benefits due to its determination of insolvency was not a misrepresentation.
Stewart v. ARCO [3/10/04] 2004 MTWCC 26 Where the employer through its union contract told employees it would pay for hearing aids for job-related hearing loss, that action may have lulled a claimant into believing that his hearing aids would be taken care of and into the belief that he did not have to file an occupational deafness or occupational disease claim. Under such circumstances, the employer's insurer may be estopped from asserting a statute of limitations defense on account of the claimant's failure to file a claim and is certainly not entitled to summary judgment finding the claim time-barred.
Lako v. ERD/UEF [10/25/02] 2002 MTWCC 53 The first element of an equitable estoppel is a misrepresentation of fact, thus, where the representation is true there is no estoppel. (Note: this decision was affirmed at Lako v. ERD/UEF, 2004 MT 290, 323 Mont. 334, 100 P.3d 142. Affirmed.)

Maggs v. State Compensation Ins. Fund [05/16/95] 1995 MTWCC 36 Under section 39-71-601(2), MCA (1989), the Department of Labor and Industry is the exclusive forum for presentment of claimant’s argument that the insurer is estopped from relying on the one-year statute of limitations for claim filing. While the Workers’ Compensation Court may judicially review the Department’s determination, it lacks jurisdiction to conduct a de novo hearing into claimant’s argument that the insurer is estopped where his supervisor allegedly threatened him with termination if he filed a workers’ compensation claim.