Medical Conditions: Hidradenitis

Gallup v. State Fund [2/9/96] 1996 MTWCC 14 36-year old sales and delivery person developed a blister on the left side of her groin after unexpectedly performing delivery work involving substantial exertion in pantyhose and new slacks. The blister developed into an abscess and, despite medical treatment, claimant continued to develop abscesses and sores diagnosed as hidradenitis suppurative, a chronic disease. The insurer accepted the claim and conceded liability for treatment and disability associated with abscesses near the original blister, but disputed continued liability for claimant's chronic condition. From the medical evidence presented, WCC concluded that medical science is currently unable to determine what causes hidradenitis. Applying a line of cases decided under pre-1995 statutes, beginning with Moffett v. Bozeman Canning Co., 95 Mont. 347, 26 P.2d 973 (1933), and most recently including Prillaman v. Community Medical Center, 264 Mont. 134, 870 P.2d 82 (1994), the WCC held that where the etiology of a condition is not known, the presence of ongoing symptoms of the disease post-injury, joined with medical testimony that the condition may spread from one infected site to another, creates strong evidence that claimant's condition became symptomatic because of the industrial injury.