Claims: Limitations Period

Cardwell v. UEF [04/28/06] 2006 MTWCC 20 Where Petitioner filed a Petition alleging an injury and later filed an Amended Petition alleging, in the alternative, an occupational disease, the Amended Petition was filed timely within the one year statute of limitation where all of the documentary evidence indicates that Petitioner neither knew nor should have known that he may be suffering from an occupational disease until Petitioner’s chiropractor stated in a deposition that Petitioner’s medical condition may be a “repetitive use injury, which happens over a period of time.”
Aaby v. MMIA [11/5/01] 2001 MTWCC 57 Insurer moved for summary judgment against minor daughter and ex-wife of decedent, arguing neither filed claim for death benefits within a year of the decedent's death pursuant to section 39-71-601, MCA (1993). The motion regarding the daughter is denied where no guardian or guardian ad litem was appointed to represent her interests until this year. Under Randall James Simons-Tollefson v. State Compensation Insurance Fund, 2000 MTWCC 7, no one is authorized to bring a claim for death benefits on behalf of a minor child until a guardian or guardian ad litem is appointed for that purpose and the statute does not begin to run until appointment. The Court does not reach the merits of the summary judgment motion against the ex-wife where the insurer has also moved for default against her, which motion must first be resolved after notice and hearing.
Kelly v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. [8/22/00] 2000 MTWCC 50 Although section 39-71-601(1), MCA (1999), requires a claimant to file a WC claim within 12 months of injury, the section is a statute of limitations and affirmative defense which must be asserted by the insurer. Where the injury occurred in the course and scope of employment, an injured workers' decision not to file a claim does not take the injury outside the workers' compensation system.
Baxter v. UEF [9/20/00] 2000 MTWCC 65 Accident Information Sheet completed by injured worker when seeking medical care immediately following injury and forwarded to employer contained adequate information under section 39-71-601, MCA (1995) and its submission to employer satisfied statutory requirement that within one year claim be "presented in writing to the employer, the insurer, or the department, as the case may be." Court refuses to read into statute any requirement that employee present claim to department rather than employer in cases where employer is not insured.
Flansburg v. State Fund [10/15/98] 1998 MTWCC 72 The credible evidence indicates claimant did not report an electrical shock within thirty days of the alleged occurrence. In addition to the Court's observation of the witnesses' credibility, factors considered include: that medical reports relatively close to the incident involving claimant's headaches do not mention the alleged incident, there were conflicts between the testimony of claimant and his corroborative witness, the corroborative witness testified he did not recall hearing the report to the president, and other evidence suggests a motive for the late attempt to link claimant's headaches with an incident at work.
Phillips v. Liberty Northwest Ins. Corp. [10/9/98] 1998 MTWCC 71 Credible evidence makes it more probable than not that claimant did not report back injury within thirty days of the alleged accident or file a claim within one year. Supervisor and safety inspector who would have received report credibly testified they had no knowledge of the alleged incident and did not complete or receive a claim relating to the incident. The medical history claimant gave to medical providers indicates he did seek treatment around the time at issue, but failed to mention any particular injury, rather indicating a gradual onset and giving other descriptions inconsistent with the present claim.