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Mogus v. Reliance National Indemnity Insurance Co.

Court of Workers Compensation of Montana

October 24, 1997

RONALD MOGUS Petitioner
v.
RELIANCE NATIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE COMPANY Respondent/Insurer for RHONE-POULENC Employer.

          Submitted: July 21, 1997

          ORDER AND JUDGMENT

          MIKE McCARTER JUDGE.

         Summary: Claimant received permanent total disability benefits until he reached age 65, retirement age. Based on a 21% whole person impairment rating, the insurer paid claimant an impairment award, but refused to pay him other permanent partial disability benefits. Claimant alleged he was entitled to additional PPD benefits because he was no longer entitled to temporary or permanent total disability benefits. The matter was presented on stipulated facts.

         Held: To be entitled to permanent partial disability benefits, claimant must meet the definition under section 39-71-116(15), MCA (1991), which includes the requirement that he be able to return to work in some capacity. Because he was permanently totally disabled, which means he was not able to return to work in any capacity (see section 39-71-116(16), MCA (1991)), he cannot qualify for permanent partial disability benefits.

         Topics:

Benefits: Permanent Partial Benefits: Retirement. Claimant received permanent total disability benefits until he reached age 65, retirement age. The insurer paid claimant an impairment award, but refused to pay him other permanent partial disability benefits. To be entitled to permanent partial disability benefits, claimant must meet the definition under section 39-71-116(15), MCA (1991), which includes the requirement that he be able to return to work in some capacity. Because he was permanently totally disabled, which means he was not able to return to work in any capacity (see section 39-71-116(16), MCA (1991)), he cannot qualify for permanent partial disability benefits.

         The issue presented in this case is whether a permanently totally disabled worker injured on April 10, 1992, is entitled to permanent partial disability benefits upon reaching age 65. The matter is presented to the Court upon Petitioner's Motion for Summary Judgment (July 8, 1997).

         Facts

         Petitioner and claimant, Ronald Mogus (Mogus), filed a Petition for Hearing on May 12, 1997. In his petition he alleged the following facts:

On April 10, 1992, he injured his right arm while working for Rohne-Poulenc.
He was thereby rendered permanently totally disabled and was paid permanent total disability benefits until January 7, 1997, on which date he reached his 65th birthday.
As a result of his injury, he received a 21% whole person impairment rating and the insurer paid the full impairment award based on the rating.
In its response, Reliance National Indemnity Insurance Company (Reliance), admits the ...

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