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Grenz v. Fire and Casualty of Connecticut

Court of Workers Compensation of Montana

August 24, 1995

SAMUEL J. GRENZ Appellant
v.
FIRE AND CASUALTY OF CONNECTICUT Respondent.

          Submitted Date: May 31, 1995

         AFFIRMED IN GRENZ v. FIRE AND CASUALTY OF CONNECTICUT, 278 Mont. 268 (1996)

          DECISION ON APPEAL

          Mike McCarter Judge

         Summary: DOL hearing examiner found that claim for occupational disease benefits relating to degenerative arthritis was barred by two-year statute of limitations in section 39-72-403, MCA (1989).

         Held: Substantial evidence supports the hearing examiner's conclusion where claimant testified that in 1985 and 1986 a doctor felt the type of work he was performing aggravated his condition and had diagnosed arthritis.

         Topics:

Constitutions, Statutes, Regulations and Rules: Montana Code Annotated: section 39-72-403, MCA (1985). Substantial evidence supported DOL hearing examiner's conclusion that 1992 occupational disease claim relating to degenerative arthritis was barred under the two-year statute where claimant testified that in 1985 and 1986 a doctor felt the type of work he was performing aggravated his condition and had diagnosed arthritis.
Limitations Periods: Claim Filing: Occupational Disease. Substantial evidence supported DOL hearing examiner's conclusion that 1992 occupational disease claim relating to degenerative arthritis was barred under the two-year statute (section 39-72-403, MCA (1985) where claimant testified that in 1985 and 1986 a doctor felt the type of work he was performing aggravated his condition and had diagnosed arthritis.

         This is an appeal by Samuel J. Grenz (Grenz) from a decision entered December 30, 1994, by a hearing examiner of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry (Department). The hearing examiner determined that Grenz's claim for occupational disease (OD) benefits is time-barred.

         Procedural Background

         This is the second appeal by Grenz respecting an occupational disease claim he filed on February 7, 1992. (Ex. A.) Initially, without a hearing, the Department summarily dismissed Grenz's claim as time-barred. On April 24, 1994, this Court reversed the Department and remanded the case for an evidentiary hearing. A hearing was held on September 19, 1994. On December 30, 1994, the hearing examiner entered his Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law; Order again dismissing Grenz's claim as untimely.

         Facts

         The evidence presented below consisted of numerous exhibits, the testimony of Grenz and Mary Park, and prior court decisions concerning Grenz's claims. A transcript of the testimony was prepared and has been considered by the Court. While Grenz alleges in an affidavit filed with this Court on April 11, 1995, that in some places the transcript is inaccurate, a comparison of the tape recorded testimony with portions of the transcript identified by Grenz fails to disclose any significant or substantive errors in transcription.

         The facts, as found by the hearing examiner, disclose that on August 22, 1984, Grenz injured his right elbow while employed with American Stud Company as a side edger. He filed a claim for benefits within a week of the injury. (Ex. 1.) The insurer accepted ...


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