FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND
trial in this matter was held on Monday, September 13, 1993,
in Billings, Montana. Petitioner, George Bement, was present
and represented by Victor R. Halverson. Respondent, Montana
Power Company, was represented by Robert T. O'Leary. The
petitioner was sworn and testified. Exhibit Nos. 1 through 16
were admitted by stipulation. Claimant withdrew Exhibit No. 4
at time of trial. The original depositions of petitioner and
Dr. Robert Cadoff were admitted into evidence.
considered the pretrial order, the testimony presented at
trial and through the depositions, the demeanor of Mr.
Bement, and the exhibits, the Court makes the following:
Petitioner is 42 years old and has a high school education.
He is married and has three children.
November 21, 1986, petitioner suffered an industrial injury
arising out of and in the course of his employment with
Montana Power Company in Colstrip, Rosebud County, Montana.
Petitioner injured his left testicle when the hydroblaster
gun he was operating kicked back and struck him in the groin.
the time of injury, Montana Power Company was enrolled under
Compensation Plan One of the Workers' Compensation Act
and was self-insured.
Following his industrial accident the petitioner continued to
work off and on for a couple weeks and was thereafter off
work until March 20, 1987.
Respondent accepted liability for petitioner's claim for
compensation and has paid medical and temporary total
disability benefits to petitioner. Temporary total benefits
were paid from December 17, 1986 through March 19, 1987.
the time of his injury, petitioner was employed by Montana
Power Company as a utility man at an hourly wage of $13.00
per hour. (The wage for that position is now $16.18 an hour.)
He performed general labor but most of his work was cleaning
scrubbers at Montana Power Company's Colstrip units. The
job required him to operate a high pressure water gun called
a hydroblaster, which he used to wash down the scrubber
walls. Petitioner shovelled the debris washed off the walls
into buckets, which he then carried out. The buckets often
weighed 60 to 80 pounds. The job required squatting, some
crawling, climbing stairs and standing on grating.
After his return to work on March 20, 1987, the petitioner
continued working for 16 months. Petitioner testified that
during this time he missed 6 to 8 days of work due to his
pain. However, he acknowledged that he did not request
workers' compensation benefits for those days.
During his continued employment with Montana Power Company,
the petitioner was able to adequately perform his duties. He
received excellent performance appraisals.
petitioner terminated his employment in July, 1988. He
submitted a letter of resignation which stated:
I've very much enjoyed working for MPC and the guys on
Crew 4. I may regret leaving, but I stated once that I have
other irons in the fire and my plans weren't to stay with
MPC to [sic] long.
At this time I've taken a partnership in a business that
will need both of us running it. I thank you and MPC for
giving me this ...