Procedure: Post-Trial Proceedings: New Trial: Generally

Cornelius v. Lumbermen's Underwriting Alliance [08/07/12] 2012 MTWCC 29 Where Respondent moved for a new trial but did not set forth any specific allegations of abuse of discretion, irregularities, accident, or surprise, and where its “newly discovered evidence” relates to events which occurred months after trial concluded, Respondent has not set forth grounds upon which the Court will grant a new trial under § 25-11-102, MCA.

Cornelius v. Lumbermen's Underwriting Alliance [08/07/12] 2012 MTWCC 29 Where Respondent requested a new trial because of events which occurred months after trial concluded, the Court, relying on previous decisions, held that it cannot retry a case because of subsequent developments except that a change in a claimant’s condition and disability could be grounds for a new  petition under § 39-71-2909, MCA.  Since Respondent’s “newly discovered evidence” consists only of allegations that Petitioner was briefly employed months after trial, the Court concluded a new trial was not warranted.

McAdam v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh [4/29/98] 1998 MTWCC 34 Where pro se claimant requested rehearing because Court's judgment was "in contradiction of facts this court found," WCC reviewed findings of fact and conclusions of law and found them consistent. The fact that claimant also forwarded an MRI report after the initial motion, which was received after the deadline for moving for a rehearing, does not require a new hearing. Claimant is not, however, precluded from filing a new petition on the basis of the MRI or other alleged new medical information.
Romans v. Liberty Mutual Fire Ins. Co. [6/1/00] 2000 MTWCC 32, aff'd in 2001 MT 64N (nonciteable opinion)Desire to reargue case or produce witnesses claimant previously had opportunity to produce is not cause for new trial; litigant must identify newly discovered evidence he could not have reasonably discovered prior to trial; some accident or surprise he could not have guarded against; or some irregularity or abuse of discretion.
Burgan v. Nationwide Ins. Co. [11/03/95] 1995 MTWCC 75A Where claimant does not seek to present newly discovered evidence or claim accident or surprise, but rather seeks to re-argue grounds previously argued, motion for new trial is denied.

Burglund v. Liberty Mut. NW Ins. Co. [05/01/95] 1995 MTWCC 31 While the Court will not simply reopen a case because claimant alleges subsequent developments post-trial, section 39-71-2909, MCA, grants the Court jurisdiction to consider subsequent changes in a claimant’s disability. Where claimant alleges decline in his condition since trial, including present inability to work and possible inability to return to his time-of-injury job, his remedy is to file a new petition.

Thayer v. UEF [01/27/95] 1995 MTWCC 7 Under ARM 24.5.344, any party may “petition for a new trial or request amendment to the court’s findings of fact and conclusions of law within 20 days after the order or judgment is served.” The grounds for granting a new trial are enumerated in section 25-11-102, MCA, and include irregularity in the earlier proceeding preventing a fair trial and accident or surprise which ordinary prudence could not have guarded against. Smith’s claim of surprise by admission of evidence concerning the scope of control he exercised over a worker was unconvincing. The individuals involved were all listed as witnesses. Evidence of scope of control was relevant to employment status and contemplated by the issues stated in the pretrial order.