Injury and Accident: Generally

MONTANA SUPREME COURT DECISIONS
Lanes v. Montana State Fund, 2008 MT 306, 346 Mont. 10, 192 P.3d 1145 A temporary aggravation of a pre-existing degenerative condition does not result in an injurious exposure pursuant to § 39-72-303, MCA.
 
MONTANA WORKERS' COMPENSATION COURT DECISIONS
Chapman v. Twin City Fire Ins. Co. [11/05/10] 2010 MTWCC 30 Although Petitioner’s testimony was not wholly credible, it was undisputed that she moved her personal possessions from one workstation to another at the direction of her supervisor and subsequently complained of back pain for which she sought medical attention, and that her medical records indicate objective medical findings to support her contention.  Petitioner has established that an injury and accident occurred.
Rau v. Montana State Fund [06/04/08] 2008 MTWCC 26 Where Petitioner fell and sustained a severe head injury upon impact, she suffered an unexpected traumatic event which is an “accident” as defined in § 39-71-119, MCA.
Evans v. Liberty [06/20/07] 2007 MTWCC 23 Where one doctor offered no opinion as to the cause of the claimant’s disk herniation and another doctor opined that the herniation was likely caused by a tire falling on the claimant’s neck and right shoulder, and the claimant testified that while he had experienced arm and shoulder pain for years but only began to experience neck pain after the tire incident, the Court concluded that while the arm and shoulder conditions were attributable to an occupational disease, the disk herniation stems from an industrial injury.
Stewart v. Atlantic Richfield Co. [04/12/05] 2005 MTWCC 17 A condition which is the result of long-time occupational exposure and develops gradually does not satisfy the injury and accident definitions of the 1983 Workers’ Compensation Act even under the micro-trauma doctrine, and is not compensable under that Act.
Wall v. National Union Fire of Pittsburgh [8/16/99] 1999 MTWCC 50 [aff'd 2000 MT 389N (nonciteable opinion)] 52-year old mechanic/laborer was injured while operating grinder. Insurer accepted liability for shoulder condition, but denied liability for neck condition and that claimant was PTD. WCC found insurer not liable for alleged neck condition where claimant not a credible witness. Although he claimed to have told medical providers about neck problems after the accident, he did not mention the neck in a statement recorded by the insurer and evidence from medical providers indicated he did not complain about his neck.
Ronemus v. Business Ins. Co. [7/28/98] 1998 MTWCC 59 Insurer denied claim of shoulder injury from construction worker, arguing he did not work the date of claimed injury, that he told a supervisor he injured his shoulder lifting weights, that he did heavy labor for a plumber after the claimed injury, and that he was considered not truthful by two supervisors. Finding claimant a credible witness, the WCC resolved conflicts in the evidence in his favor and found he was injured during employment. The insurer's argument that claimant was not at work on the claimed injury date was undermined by evidence claimant at first thought the injury was minimal and did not seek medical treatment and, when he did seek treatment, could give only an approximate date of injury. The Court was persuaded the earlier shoulder injury occurred much earlier and that the alleged work for the plumber occurred prior to the injury. In weighing opinion evidence that claimant was untruthful, the court noted the evidence came from the employer's supervisors and not from disinterested members of the community.
Larsen-English v. Lumbermens Mutual Casualty [6/14/96] 1996 MTWCC 43 When claimant, a waitress, slipped and aggravated her existing knee condition, she was following a cook who playfully stole a pan from her after tossing whipped cream on her. Insurer's contention claimant was acting outside the course and scope of employment was not only unreasonable, but also mean-spirited, where the clear facts show the incident was precipitated for a work-related reason, that claimant did not initiate the incident, and that some horseplay, in any event, was tolerated by the employer.