Limitations Periods: Claim Filing: Waiver of Time/Estoppel

Morse v. Liberty Northwest Ins. Corp. [05/03/12] 2012 MTWCC 16 Where Petitioner established the six elements of equitable estoppel, the Court ordered Respondent be estopped from denying Petitioner’s claim under the one-year claim filing limitation of § 39-71-601, MCA.  The Court found that Petitioner reasonably relied upon his employer’s representation that Petitioner need only follow his employer’s accident reporting procedures in order for his industrial accident claim to be filed.

Morse v. Liberty Northwest Ins. Corp. [05/03/12] 2012 MTWCC 16 Where Petitioner’s industrial accident occurred more than one year prior to Petitioner’s claim filing, Petitioner may have an additional 24 months to present his claim in writing if he can prove by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent is equitably estopped from denying his claim under § 39-71-601, MCA.

Johnson v. Montana State Fund [07/22/11] 2011 MTWCC 22 Petitioner failed to prove the first element of equitable estoppel where he claimed that Respondent misrepresented a material fact when it denied his claim but subsequently investigated it. Respondent sent Petitioner a denial letter in which it clearly stated that while it was denying his claim due to a lack of medical information, it intended to continue its investigation. Therefore, no concealment or misrepresentation occurred.

Hoff v. UEF and Laubach & Laubach [11/1/00] 2000 MTWCC 67 Estoppel must be proved by clear and convincing evidence.

Partin v. State Fund [3/14/97] 1997 MTWCC 11 WCC reversed conclusion of DOL hearing officer that reversed Department's order waiving one-year filing requirement on basis of equitable estoppel. Hearing officer erred in finding that, even if claimant's testimony were credited, he had not established elements justifying equitable estoppel of assertion of statute of limitations. If claimant's testimony is credited, he has established the requirements of equitable estoppel based on the employer's alleged representations to him concerning use of health insurance and payment of additional expenses by the employer.