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Grayes v. Uninsured Employers' Fund

Court of Workers Compensation of Montana

July 24, 2000

RONALD GRAYES, Petitioner,
v.
UNINSURED EMPLOYERS' FUND, Respondent and Third-Party Petitioner, ROLAND SNEDIGAR, et al., Respondents/Employer.

          Submitted: May 23, 2000

          FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND JUDGMENT

          MIKE MCCARTER JUDGE.

         Summary of Case: Claimant seeks occupational disease benefits, alleging that he developed sore shoulders as a result of operating a tractor with a brush cutting mower.

         Held: Claimant failed to establish that his sore shoulders were caused or aggravated by his operation of the tractor. Neither his treating physician nor the physician who conducted an occupational disease examination could relate his shoulder condition to his work activities.

         Topic:

Causation: Medical Condition. Claimant was not entitled to occupational disease benefits where neither his treating physician nor the physician who conducted an occupational disease examination could relate his shoulder condition to his operation of a tractor.
Medical Condition: Pain: Shoulder. OD claimant failed to prove his claimed shoulder pain was the result of use of levers on tractor where not supported by medical testimony or credible evidence describing tractor and other aspects of claimant's work.

         ¶1 The trial in this matter commenced on March 15, 2000, in Kalispell, Montana, and was reconvened on May 8, 2000, at which time the testimony of Dr. John W. Hilleboe was heard. Petitioner, Ronald Grayes (claimant), was present and represented himself. Respondent/Third-Party Petitioner, Uninsured Employers' Fund (UEF), was represented by Mr. Daniel B. McGregor. Respondent/Employer, Roland Snedigar/Meadow Creek Enterprises (employer), was represented by Mr. William A. Douglas. A transcript of the trial has not been prepared.

         ¶2 Exhibits: Exhibits 1 through 11 and 13 through 26 were admitted. Exhibit 12, 27, and 28 were refused. Exhibit 29 was admitted over objection.

          ¶3 Witnesses and Deposition: Claimant, Roland Snedigar, and Dr. John W. Hilleboe were sworn and testified. Mr. Grayes' deposition was submitted for the Court's consideration.

         ¶4 Issues Presented: As set forth in the pretrial order, the issues to be determined are:

1.Whether Ronald Grayes is suffering from a compensable occupational disease
2. In the event Mr. Grayes is successful in his claim, whether the UEF is entitled to full reimbursement for paid benefits from the employer/respondents.

         ¶5 Having considered the pretrial order, the testimony presented at trial, the demeanor and credibility of the witnesses, the deposition, and exhibits, the Court makes the following:

         FINDINGS OF FACT

         ¶6 The uncontested facts as set forth in the pretrial order are:

1. Ronald Grayes performed some sporadic brush clearing work for Roland Snedigar and/or Meadow Creek Enterprises during part of 1997 and part of spring, 1998. Ronald Grayes quit working for Roland Snedigar and/or Meadow Creek Enterprises in June of 1998.
2. During the period of time that Ronald Grayes worked for Roland Snedigar, no workers' compensation insurance was in effect.

         (Pretrial Order at 2.)

         The ...


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