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Wingfield v. State Compensation Insurance Fund

Court of Workers Compensation of Montana

May 19, 1995

GARY WINGFIELD Petitioner
v.
STATE COMPENSATION INSURANCE FUND Respondent.

          ORDER REMANDING FOR FURTHER EVIDENCE

          Mike McCarter, Judge

         Summary: On appeal from finding of the Department of Labor and Industry that option (c) of section 39-71-1012 MCA (1989) is the first appropriate rehabilitation option for him, claimant requests that he be permitted to introduce additional evidence that he had not reached maximum medical healing at the time of the hearing.

         Held: While claimant's pro se status at the Department hearing is not sufficient to permit his introduction of new evidence following the hearing, vocational testimony presented at the hearing constituted new information and unfair surprise in light of prior information available to claimant. While insurer may have cured the problem at the hearing by presenting information from the doctor in light of the new vocational evidence, it objected to admission of the doctor's letter. Although Workers' Compensation Court rule 24.5.350(4) contemplates acceptance of new evidence on appeal to the Workers' Compensation Court, this matter is more appropriately remanded to the Department hearing officer for acceptance of new evidence from both parties and reconsideration of claimant's case, a procedure contemplated by section 2-4-703, MCA.

         Topics:

Constitutions, Statutes, Regulations and Rules: Workers' Compensation Court Rules: ARM 24.5.350(4). Although Workers' Compensation Court rule 24.5.350(4) contemplates acceptance of new evidence in the Workers' Compensation Court on appeal from a decision of the Department of Labor and Industry, where claimant has shown entitlement to present new evidence, controversy over appropriate rehabilitation option for claimant is more appropriately remanded to the Department hearing officer, a procedure contemplated by section 2-4-703, MCA.
Constitutions, Statutes, Regulations and Rules: Montana Code Annotated: section 2-4-703, MCA. Although Workers' Compensation Court rule 24.5.350(4) contemplates acceptance of new evidence in the Workers' Compensation Court on appeal from a decision of the Department of Labor and Industry, where claimant has shown entitlement to present new evidence, controversy over appropriate rehabilitation option for claimant is more appropriately remanded to the Department hearing officer, a procedure contemplated by section 2-4-703, MCA.
Appeals (To Workers' Compensation Court): Generally. Although Workers' Compensation Court rule 24.5.350(4) contemplates acceptance of new evidence in the Workers' Compensation Court on appeal from a decision of the Department of Labor and Industry, where claimant has shown entitlement to present new evidence, controversy over appropriate rehabilitation option for claimant is more appropriately remanded to the Department hearing officer, a procedure contemplated by section 2-4-703, MCA.
Appeals (To Workers' Compensation Court): Generally. While claimant's pro se status at the Department hearing is not sufficient to permit his introduction of new evidence following the hearing, vocational testimony presented at the hearing constituted new information and unfair surprise in light of prior information available to claimant, justifying presentation of new evidence.
Administrative Procedure: Contested Case Hearing: Evidence. Although Workers' Compensation Court rule 24.5.350(4) contemplates acceptance of new evidence in the Workers' Compensation Court on appeal from a decision of the Department of Labor and Industry, where claimant has shown entitlement to present new evidence, controversy over appropriate rehabilitation option for claimant is more appropriately remanded to the Department hearing officer, a procedure contemplated by section 2-4-703, MCA.
Administrative Procedure: Contested Case Hearing: Evidence. While claimant's pro se status at the Department hearing is not sufficient to permit his introduction of new evidence following the hearing, vocational testimony presented at the hearing constituted new information and unfair surprise in light of prior information available to claimant, justifying presentation of new evidence.
Evidence: Generally. Although Workers' Compensation Court rule 24.5.350(4) contemplates acceptance of new evidence in the Workers' Compensation Court on appeal from a decision of the Department of Labor and Industry, where claimant has shown entitlement to present new evidence, controversy over appropriate rehabilitation option for claimant is more appropriately remanded to the Department hearing officer, a procedure contemplated by section 2-4-703, MCA.
Evidence: Generally. While claimant's pro se status at the Department hearing is not sufficient to permit his introduction of new evidence following the hearing, vocational testimony presented at the hearing constituted new information and unfair surprise in light of prior information available to claimant, justifying presentation of new evidence.
Procedure: Post-Trial Proceedings: New Trial: Newly Discovered Evidence.
Although Workers' Compensation Court rule 24.5.350(4) contemplates acceptance of new evidence in the Workers' Compensation Court on appeal from a decision of the Department of Labor and Industry, where claimant has shown entitlement to present new evidence, controversy over appropriate rehabilitation option for claimant is more appropriately ...

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