Pleading: Statement of a Claim

Car Werks, LLC v. Uninsured Employers' Fund v. Gawronski [06/12/15] 2015 MTWCC 13 The uninsured employer’s pleadings and exhibits establish that it timely “appealed” to mediation the UEF’s determination to accept liability, and, when there was no settlement at mediation, timely petitioned this Court to resolve the dispute.  While claimant maintains that the uninsured employer’s documents and pleadings are not sufficiently precise to qualify as a mediation petition or a petition with this Court, the claimant is elevating form over substance.

Car Werks, LLC v. Uninsured Employers' Fund v. Gawronski [06/12/15] 2015 MTWCC 13 Montana is a notice pleading state; the allegations in the uninsured employer’s initial pleading were sufficient to put the UEF on notice that the uninsured employer was contesting the UEF’s acceptance of liability and the reasons why it believed the UEF’s determination was incorrect.

Car Werks, LLC v. Uninsured Employers' Fund v. Gawronski [06/12/15] 2015 MTWCC 13 Although couched as an appeal of the mediator’s non-binding decision, it is clear from the initial pleading that the uninsured employer is really contesting the UEF’s decision to accept liability for the claimant’s claim.

Stokes v. Liberty Mutual [07/16/09] 2009 MTWCC 21 Where a pro sé claimant argued that his settlement should be reopened, contending among other allegations that some of his medical information was missing at the time of the settlement and that he suffered unforeseen complications from surgery, the insurer’s motion to dismiss on the grounds that case law does not support the claim is denied. To determine whether the present case is factually distinguishable from past cases is premature and perhaps impossible to do, no matter how precisely pled.

Miller v. State Compensation Insurance Fund [11/17/00] 2000 MTWCC 72 An allegation that a settlement was based on a mistake of law as to discounting may state a claim to reopen the settlement; at least it entitles the claimant to be heard as to whether or not it does.

Coakley v. ITT Hartford Ins. Co. [11/06/95] 1995 MTWCC 95 State Fund’s motion for judgment on pleading, arguing that claimant had not articulated a claim for relief against it, was denied where another insurer/respondent and claimant both maintain that if other insurer is not liable to claimant, State Fund is. Court will not adopt a hyper-technical approach to pleading.
Oster v. State Compensation Ins. Fund [10/31/95] 1995 MTWCC 85 For purposes of ruling on a motion to dismiss, all well-pleaded facts are deemed admitted and the Court looks to whether claimant has stated a claim on which relief can be granted. Where Montana requires only notice pleading, and petitioner alleges she is permanently totally disabled, inherent in those allegations are allegations that she has reached MMI and is unable to work, along with other factual predicates to PTD status.
McNeese v. State Compensation Ins. Fund/Dep't of Labor & Industry [10/03/95] 1995 MTWCC 74 Where the petition seeks a determination that claimant suffered a compensable injury and is entitled to benefits, it states a claim on which relief can be granted in this Court.