Jurisdiction: Original Jurisdiction

Spurlock v. State Fund [7/15/03] 2003 MTWCC 49 The Workers' Compensation Court has original jurisdiction to adjudicate coverage issue where a lack of coverage is raised as a defense to a claimant's petition for workers' compensation benefits. Auto Parts of Bozeman v. Uninsured Employers' Fund, 2001 MT 72, 305 Mont. 40, 23 P.3rd 193 is inapposite.
Hernandez v. ACE USA [4/24/03] 2003 MTWCC 32 Where an insurer has violated, and continues at the time of trial to violate, provisions of the Montana Workers' Compensation Act which govern the payment of benefits, the Workers' Compensation Court has jurisdiction to order the insurer to desist from the violation and to enforce its order. See State ex rel. Uninsured Emp. Fund, Division of Workers' Compensation v. Hunt, 191 Mont. 514, 519, 625 P.2d 539, 542 (1981).
UEF v. Mackey [1/31/03] 2003 MTWCC 3 Where the Workers' Compensation Court has jurisdiction to resolve claims arising under the Workers' Compensation Act, and those claims are resolved in a settlement agreement, it also has jurisdiction to enforce the settlement agreement.
Foster v. State Fund/UEF [5/20/02] 2002 MTWCC 27 The Workers' Compensation Court has jurisdiction to determine who is the employer for purposes of workers' compensation.
Lindstrom v. State Fund [10/12/01] 2001 MTWCC 55 Under the 1999 and 2001 versions of the Workers' Compensation Act, the Workers' Compensation Court has original jurisdiction over requests to waive the one-year limitation period for filing a written claim. 39-71-601(3) (1999-2001).
Kastens v. State Fund [5/13/98] 1998 MTWCC 41 While the DOL has jurisdiction under the 1991 or 1995 OD Act to determine whether a claimant suffers from a compensable occupational disease, the WCC has original jurisdiction over other disputes arising in the occupational disease context. As a general proposition, if the controversy is a legal one not involving any factual determination as to whether claimant has an OD, then the Court, not the DOL, has original jurisdiction. Issue of whether 1991 or 1995 statute of limitations for OD claim should apply is within original jurisdiction of WCC.
American Seamless Raingutters v. Independent Contractor Central Unit/Uninsured Employers' Fund [1/25/01] 2001 MTWCC 4 The Court lacks jurisdiction, at least where fraud is not pled, to inquire retroactively into employment status where the Department has previously issued an IC exemption covering the time in question.

Hoff v. UEF and Laubach & Laubach [11/1/00] 2000 MTWCC 67 WCC has original jurisdiction over pre-1999 requests for waiver of the one-year limitations period for filing a written claim where neither party elects to have the matter heard by the Department.

Art v. ICCU ex. rel. Patricia Mason [6/23/00] 2000 MTWCC 37 While HB 592, enacted by 1999 Montana Legislature, intended to place jurisdiction over the determination of IC status in the WCC for workers' compensation, unemployment insurance, and wage and hour matters, the actual statutory amendments failed to transfer jurisdiction over the IC issue in wage and hour claims. Thus, WCC has jurisdiction over the IC issue in WC and UI cases, but not in wage and hour disputes.
Dean v. Montana Power Company [4/11/00] 2000 MTWCC 21 Where statute in effect at time of work injury has been repealed or amended, the statute still applies to substantive rights (here, the right to medical benefits for 36 months and to extended benefits for good cause), but current procedures for dispute resolution apply. Thus, WCC had jurisdiction to resolve dispute over extension of medical benefits under 92-706.1, RCM (1947) where no current statute continues said jurisdiction in Division, which no longer exists, or places such jurisdiction in Department of Labor.
Seger v. Magnum Oil, Inc. [10/29/99] 1999 MTWCC 67 Self-insured employer's motion to dismiss injured worker's claim for denial of reemployment preference under section 39-71-317, MCA (1999) denied. Although employer argued WCC lacked jurisdiction, section 39-71-317, MCA (1999) gives the WCC "exclusive jurisdiction to administer or resolve a dispute concerning the reemployment preference." Even though claimant's injury occurred prior to passage of the 1999 statute, the WCC has jurisdiction where precedent indicates legislatures may change the forum for resolution of pending disputes without enacting a "retroactive" law. Although the WCC was initially concerned the change in jurisdiction may impact an accrued substantive right to jury trial, further consideration indicates the reemployment preference is a creation of statute to which no right to jury trial attached.
Washington v. State Fund [2/12/99] 1999 MTWCC 17 While section 39-71-2909, MCA (1997) gives the WCC authority to review and change benefits previously awarded by the WCC, the WCC does not have jurisdiction to set aside a subrogation order entered by the Division of Workers' Compensation in 1977, although section 39-71-204, MCA (1997) gives the Department of Labor and Industry continuing jurisdiction to do so.
Bouldin vs. Liberty Northwest Insurance Corp. [10/8/96] 1996 MTWCC 61 Although neither party questioned the WCC's jurisdiction to decide the case, jurisdiction is an issue which may be raised at any time and may be raised sue sponte. When liability for an alleged occupational disease is disputed under the 1995 version of the Occupational Disease Act (ODA), the procedures set forth at section 39-72-602, MCA (1995), are mandatory. These procedures include examination by a panel of physicians appointed by the Department of Labor, preparation of a report, issuance of an order by the DOL, hearing procedures in the DOL, and appeal to the WCC. Because this is a denied liability case, the DOL, not the WCC, has original jurisdiction to conduct a de novo hearing into whether claimant has an occupational disease. However, the WCC has jurisdiction to determine whether the insurer's initial acceptance of the claim bars subsequent denial.