Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Sullivan v. Aetna Life & Casualty

Court of Workers Compensation of Montana

April 21, 1994

PATRICIA SULLIVAN Petitioner
v.
AETNA LIFE & CASUALTY Respondent/Insurer for ST. JAMES COMMUNITY HOSPITAL Employer.

          FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND JUDGMENT

          MIKE MCCARTER JUDGE

         The trial in this matter was held on February 17, 1994, in Butte, Montana, the Honorable Mike McCarter, Judge of the Workers' Compensation Court, presiding. Petitioner, Patricia Sullivan (claimant), was present and represented by Mr. Bernard J. "Ben" Everett. Respondent, Aetna Life & Casualty (Aetna), was represented by Mr. Brendon J. Rohan.

         Claimant and her mother (Agnes Sullivan) testified. Exhibit Nos. 1 through No. 6 and Exhibit Nos. 8 and 9 were admitted into evidence. Exhibit No. 7 was withdrawn.

         Having considered the Pretrial Order, the testimony presented at trial, the demeanor of the witnesses and the exhibits, the Court makes the following:

         FINDINGS OF FACT

         1. Claimant injured her neck on October 5, 1983, in the course and scope of her employment as a radiological technician for St. James Community Hospital.

         2. The employer and its insurer, Aetna Life and Casualty (Aetna), accepted liability for the claimant's industrial accident.

         3. Since the date of her injury the insurer has continuously paid claimant total disability benefits. Both parties consider her permanently totally disabled.

         4. Claimant is presently 48 years old. Despite numerous surgeries, she suffers severe pain in her neck, arms and hands. She also suffers severe headaches.

         5. Claimant seeks a lump sum advance against permanent partial disability benefits which she would otherwise begin receiving upon conversion of her social security disability benefits to retirement benefits.[1]

         6. The purpose of the lump sum request is to pay off indebtedness totalling $36, 582.14, itemized as follows:

Norwest Bank (motor home loan)

$23, 101.89

Norwest Bank (Loan to repay Agnes Sullivan for home mortgage loan)

5, 058.93

AT&T Credit Card

8, 753.11

36, 913.93

Less

-331.69

TOTAL SOUGHT

$36, 582.29

         7. In addition, claimant seeks a $5, 000 advance to repair two motor vehicles. One vehicle is a 1978 pickup truck and the other a 1985 van. According to claimant, the truck needs a new engine and body; the van needs body work and may require engine work. No itemization of work was provided. Claimant did not explain why she needs two vehicles and did not provide a market value for either vehicle.

         8. Claimant initially sought $54, 243.90 to pay indebtedness. However, $7, 661.76 of that amount was to repay an overpayment by Aetna which resulted from claimant's receipt of social security disability benefits. Aetna is not presently requesting repayment, so that amount is not at issue in the present case.[2]

         9. The original request was further reduced when, at the time of trial, Aetna tendered $10, 000 to claimant to pay off debts owed by claimant to Agnes Sullivan ($3, 930.00), Norwest Bank ($3, 635.00) and Discover ($2, 434.08). The $331.69 left over after payment of those debts is to be applied by claimant to reduce her other indebtedness. Aetna agreed to the $10, 000 lump sum advance on January 10, 1994. (Ex. No. 7.) On the day of trial it delivered actual checks totalling that amount.

         10. The claimant's monthly income is $1, 662.56, consisting of social security disability benefits of $732 and workers' compensation benefits of $930.56[3] Thus, claimant's annual income, which is tax free, is $19, 950.72.

         11. In a statement dated April 28, 1993, claimant reported her monthly expenses as follows:

Utility

70.00

Water

24.55

Telephone

25.00

Cable

42.54

Paper

11.28

Groceries

280.00

Rent

175.00

Gasoline

100.00

Vetrenarian [sic]

25.00

Dentist

50.00

Optometrist

25.00

Physician

40.25

Prescriptions

30.00

Personal Care Items

100.00

Donations to Church

25.00

Loan #1 [Motor Home]

466.07

Loan #2 [Norwest Bank - Loan to repay Agnes Sullivan for Home Mortgage loan]

169.25

Loan #3 [Note to Agnes Sullivan]

130.30

TOTAL

$1, 789.24

(Ex. No. 6.) The claimant also listed the additional 1991 expenses which were not included in the basic list set out ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.