Settlements: Reopening: Rescission

MONTANA SUPREME COURT DECISIONS
Kruzich v. Old Republic, 2008 MT 205, 344 Mont. 126, 188 P.3d 983 In order to constitute a mistake of fact justifying rescission, a mistake regarding the nature and extent of a claimant’s condition must be with respect to a claimant’s condition as it exists at the time of settlement and not with respect to a condition that develops at some point in the future. In the present case, Petitioner did not have Parkinson’s disease until approximately ten years after he signed the settlement agreement and when the parties entered into the agreement, no one could have foreseen that Petitioner would develop Parkinson’s disease. Therefore, the parties’ failure to anticipate the future condition was not a mistake as to the nature and extent of Petitioner’s condition at the time of settlement and does not justify rescission.

Gamble v. Sears, 2007 MT 131, 337 Mont. 354, 160 P.2d 537 Where it is undisputed that the parties mutually believed the claimant had reached MMI at the time of settlement, and that if the claimant’s odontoid fracture existed at the time of settlement that the claimant had not actually reached MMI, it is consequently undisputed that if the fracture existed at the time of settlement, the parties were mutually mistaken as to a material fact and the settlement agreement must therefore be rescinded.

 
MONTANA WORKERS' COMPENSATION COURT DECISIONS
Gamble v. Sears [01/30/06] 2006 MTWCC 5 The full and final settlement entered into by the parties is a contract. Therefore, contract law governs the agreement. Morrissette v. Zurich American Ins. Co., 2000 MTWCC 2, ¶ 61 (citing Kienas v. Peterson, 191 Mont. 325, 329, 624 P.2d 1, 3 (1980)). In South v. Transportation Ins. Co., 275 Mont. 397, 401, 913 P.2d 233, 235 (1996), the Montana Supreme Court explained that a material mistake of fact concerning a worker’s medical condition may justify rescission of the contract if the mistake is so fundamental as to defeat the object of the parties in making the contract.
Crawford v. Liberty [2/05/02] 2002 MTWCC 7 Settlement agreements are contracts. Kienas v. Peterson, 191 Mont. 325, 328, 624 P.2d 1, 2 (1980). As a general proposition, upon rescission of a contract, each party is required to restore everything of value received from the other. 28-2-1713, MCA.
Crawford v. Liberty [2/05/02] 2002 MTWCC 7 Where a settlement is rescinded for mutual mistake of fact, the claimant is entitled to retain amounts that are due or will be due him irrespective of the settlement agreement. The insurer is entitled to a credit for or repayment of any remaining amount and may recoup its entitlement out of past-due or future benefits due claimant, including temporary total disability benefits.