Evidence: Substantial Credible Evidence

Narum v. Liberty Northwest Ins. Corp. [04/14/09] 2009 MT 127 Where the treating physician’s opinion appears to verify that the liability criteria under § 39-71-407(2)(a)(ii), MCA, and the claimant’s burden of proof with respect to causality have been satisfied, and where all the other medical professionals agreed that the claimant was asymptomatic before his industrial accident and that the claimant has experienced a steady degeneration of his condition and increasing pain since his industrial accident, substantial credible evidence supported the WCC’s conclusion that the claimant’s industrial accident exacerbated his degenerative condition, leading to ongoing pain and requiring surgery and other treatment.
Kratovil v. Liberty Northwest Ins. Corp. [12/29/08] 2008 MT 443 The Montana Supreme Court found that substantial credible evidence supported the WCC’s factual findings supporting a claimant’s contention that his hand and wrist conditions were caused by an occupational disease where the claimant and his supervisor both testified that his job was repetitive, labor-intensive, and caused hand problems in other employees; the claimant consistently described the history of his hand and wrist conditions in various interviews and depositions taken over a two-year span; the claimant described a non-work-related accident and offered a plausible explanation as to why he did not attribute his hand condition to that accident; and a physician opined that the claimant’s hand and wrist injuries pre-dated the claimant’s non-work-related accident.
Heth v. Montana State Fund [05/05/09] 2009 MT 149 “Substantial credible evidence” is evidence which a reasonable mind could accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Where multiple references in the record demonstrate that the employer was aware that his employee drank alcohol while working, substantial credible evidence supported the WCC’s factual findings, including its finding that the employee’s on-the-job drinking was “regular” or “recurrent.”
Lanes v. Montana State Fund, 2008 MT 306, 346 Mont. 10, 192 P.3d 1145 The Montana Supreme Court concluded substantial credible evidence existed to support the Workers’ Compensation Court’s findings where Petitioner’s treating physician testified that Petitioner’s right knee condition developed after Petitioner began overloading that knee because of a left knee injury, and where Petitioner’s testimony was consistent with his treating physician’s. The treating physician opined that Petitioner’s subsequent employment as a minister only temporarily aggravated Petitioner’s knee condition and this was sufficient credible evidence to support this Court’s factual findings that Petitioner’s employment as a minister did not significantly aggravate his right knee condition.
Gamble v. Sears, 2007 MT 131, 337 Mont. 354, 160 P.2d 537 When reviewing the WCC’s findings of fact, the court does not resolve conflicts in evidence and does not consider whether evidence supports findings that are different than those made by the WCC. Review is confined to determining whether substantial credible evidence supports the findings made by the WCC.

Gamble v. Sears, 2007 MT 131, 337 Mont. 354, 160 P.2d 537 The Montana Supreme Court has held that substantial credible evidence is that which a reasonable mind could accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Indicating the high level of deference the court accords to the WCC’s factual findings, evidence will be considered substantial even if it is contradicted by other evidence, even if it is somewhat less than a preponderance, and even if it is inherently weak. However, it must be more than a mere “scintilla” and it must rise above the level of “trifling or frivolous.”