24.5.308 Joining Third Parties

Montana State Fund v. Zurich American (In Re Golt) [01/21/09] 2009 MTWCC 3 Claimant is not joined as a party to an action between insurers where she was never made a third-party respondent. When the evidence put Respondent on notice that Claimant’s condition might be related to her activities outside of her employment with both Petitioner’s and Respondent’s insureds, Respondent could have moved to have her named as a third-party respondent, but did not do so.
John Ballard v. Stillwater Mining Company [12/23/99] 1999 MTWCC 84, 84A Claimant involved in dispute with Montana and Alaska insurers over which, if either, is liable for his present ankle condition requested interim benefits during pendency of proceeding. Under ARM 24.5.308, the WCC had previously ordered six weeks of interim benefits following delay in proceeding caused by insurer's filing of motion to join third party without properly serving third party. WCC held that ARM 24.5.308 did not apply at present, meaning the only source of additional authority to order interim benefits is section 39-71-610, MCA, which allows no more than 49 days of interim benefits pending resolution of a workers' compensation dispute. Where claimant has already received 42 days of interim benefits under the prior order, the Court declines to order additional benefits, particularly where the issues suggest it is possible neither insurer could be liable to claimant, making any repayment possibility questionable.
John Ballard v. Stillwater Mining Co. [9/1/99] 1999 MTWCC 54 Respondent moved to join another insurance company as a third-party respondent under ARM 24.5.308, but failed to serve the other insurer, as required by the rule. Motion denied where respondent failed to serve the other insurer.

Thompson v. State of Montana and Liberty Northwest Ins. Corp. and Montana State Fund [04/28/06] 2006 MTWCC 19 While Respondent urges this Court to interpret § 2-4-501, MCA, to mean that the WCC’s only authority to issue declaratory rulings is via MAPA, ARM 24.5.351 – the rule provided for under § 2-4-501, MCA – does not specifically limit the WCC to MAPA. Section 2-4-501, MCA, does not state that the WCC may not issue declaratory judgments under the auspices of the UDJA; it merely commands the WCC to promulgate a rule setting forth a procedure to dispose of those actions for declaratory judgment concerning the applicability of statutory provisions, rules, or orders of the WCC. Respondent asks the Court to read limiting language into a statute that is not there.