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Stormont v. National Union Fire of Pittsburgh

Court of Workers Compensation of Montana

January 3, 1996

MARY C. STORMONT Petitioner
v.
NATIONAL UNION FIRE OF PITTSBURGH Respondent/Insurer for HILLHAVEN CORPORATION Employer.

          Submitted Date: December 29, 1995

          ORDER DENYING MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND JOINDER

          Mike McCarter JUDGE

         Summary: Petitioner moved for summary judgment on ground that insurer failed to accept or deny claim within thirty days, but failed to comply with WCC rules requiring motions for summary judgment to be based on evidence authenticated by affidavit, deposition, interrogatories, or other means. In a separate motion, insurer sought to join another insurer which it alleged may have liability based on an earlier injury of claimant.

         Held: Both motions denied. While lack of supporting affidavits and discovery may not always be fatal to a motion for summary judgment (for example, where the briefs reveal agreement to facts necessary to resolve the motion), summary judgment will be denied where the moving party does not comply with rules requiring authenticated evidence or sworn discovery to support the motion. Motion to join denied where it was based on assertion that treating chiropractor "may suggest" that claimant's present condition is attributable to an earlier injury, not affirmative opinion of physician on that point. Conjecture about what a medical provider may or may not say is not sufficient basis for the Court to hail an additional party into Court.

         Topics:

Procedure: Motions: Generally. While lack of supporting affidavits and discovery may not always be fatal to a motion for summary judgment (for example, where the briefs reveal agreement to facts necessary to resolve the motion), summary judgment will be denied where the moving party does not comply with rules requiring authenticated evidence or sworn discovery to support the motion.
Summary Judgment: Affidavits. While lack of supporting affidavits and discovery may not always be fatal to a motion for summary judgment (for example, where the briefs reveal agreement to facts necessary to resolve the motion), summary judgment will be denied where the moving party does not comply with rules requiring authenticated evidence or sworn discovery to support the motion.
Summary Judgment: Motion for Summary Judgment. While lack of supporting affidavits and discovery may not always be fatal to a motion for summary judgment (for example, where the briefs reveal agreement to facts necessary to resolve the motion), summary judgment will be denied where the moving party does not comply with rules requiring authenticated evidence or sworn discovery to support the motion.
Summary Judgment: Criteria. While lack of supporting affidavits and discovery may not always be fatal to a motion for summary judgment (for example, where the briefs reveal agreement to facts necessary to resolve the motion), summary judgment will be denied where the moving party does not comply with rules requiring authenticated evidence or sworn discovery to support the motion.

         Procedure: Joining Third Parties. Motion to join denied where it was based on assertion that treating chiropractor "may suggest" that claimant's present condition is attributable to an earlier injury, not affirmative opinion. Conjecture about what a medical provider may or may not say is not sufficient basis to hail an additional party into Court.

         Petitioner filed this action seeking a determination that she suffered a work-related industrial accident on October 14, 1993, and asks that the Court fix the amount of benefits due her. She also seeks attorney fees, costs and a penalty. She now moves for summary judgment.

         Respondent, National Union Fire of Pittsburgh, resists the motion. In addition, it has moved to join the State Compensation Insurance Fund as a third-party defendant.

         Both motions are denied.

         1. SUMMARY ...


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