Settlements: Interpretation


Gamble v. Sears, 2007 MT 131, 337 Mont. 354, 160 P.2d 537 A provision which states that a claim may not be reopened even if the parties are mistaken as to the nature or extent of the injured worker’s physical condition is of no consequence. Such a provision is not enforceable because it directly conflicts with Montana law regarding the formation of a contract.
Wiard v. Liberty Northwest Ins. Corp., 2003 MT 295 Noting that laws existing at the time a contract is formed become part of the contract, the Supreme Court held that a settlement reserving medical benefits to pro se claimant memorialized in DLI standardized petition form incorporated the 60-month limitation set forth in section 39-71-704(1)(d), MCA (1991).
Bauer v. CNA [1/07/02] 2000 MTWCC 2 A settlement agreement which closes the claim and releases the insurer from further liability bars any further claim for past medical benefits.
Bauer v. CNA [1/07/02] 2000 MTWCC 2 A settlement agreement which is plain on its face must be applied as written.
Bauer v. CNA [1/07/02] 2000 MTWCC 2 A settlement agreement is a contract and must be construed in accordance with ordinary rules governing the interpretation of contracts.
Chandler v. Bituminous Ins. Co. [2/12/96] 1996 MTWCC 17 Settlement agreement provided that insurer would "pay for 11 1/2 hours of domiciliary care per day at the rate of $7.00 per hour to Gary Chandler...." This language is plain and clear and speaks for itself: payments must be made to claimant Gary Chandler, not to his wife. WCC order includes $2,500 attorneys fees to claimant's counsel given the plain language of the agreement.