Settlements: Reopening: Statute of Limitations

MONTANA SUPREM COURT DECISIONS
Preston v. Transportation Ins. Co. [12/01/04] 2004 MT 339 (No. 02-522) The two-year limitations period for filing a claim to reopen a workers’ compensation settlement tolled during the sixty-two days between claimant’s petition for meditation before the Department of Labor and the issuance of the mediation report. Hence, claimant had an additional sixty-two days within which to file her petition to the Workers’ Compensation Court and that the Court erred by finding her claim time-barred.

Martin v. State Comp. Ins. Fund, 275 Mont. 190 (1996) (No. 95-290) In the unique context of Supreme Court decisions discussed in Wolfe v. Webb, 251 Mont. 217, 824 P.2d 240 (1992), which indicate that rules regarding jurisdiction to reopen workers’ compensation settlement agreements are procedural rules, the Workers’ Compensation Court has jurisdiction to set aside final settlement agreements even if the agreement was initially subject to the four-year limitation period on reopening settlements set out in section 92-848(4), R.C.M. 1947 (1975).

 
MONTANA WORKERS' COMPENSATION COURT CASES
Preston v. Transportation Inc. [4/17/02] 2002 MTWCC 23 The two-year limitation period for filing a petition to reopen a settlement, § 27-2-203, MCA, is tolled where a mediation request is filed within the two-year period and the pendency of mediation precludes filing with the Workers' Compensation Court within the two years. It does not extend the limitation period where mediation is completed prior to expiration of the two-year period. [Note: the Supreme Court reversed the Workers' Compensation Court's holding that mediation does not toll the two-year limitations period in Preston v. Transportation Ins. Co., 2004 MT 339 (No. 02-522).]
Preston v. Transportation Inc. [4/17/02] 2002 MTWCC 23 A request for reopening of a workers' compensation settlement based upon alleged mutual mistake of fact must be made within two years of discovery of the mistake or within two years of when the mistake should have been discovered. § 27-2-203, MCA. [See Preston v. Transportation Ins. Co., 2004 MT 339 (No. 02-522), affirming the Workers' Compensation Court on this ground.]