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Uninsured Employers' Fund v. Gould

Court of Workers Compensation of Montana

December 6, 2004

UNINSURED EMPLOYERS' FUND Petitioner
v.
GREGORY M. GOULD and AIMEE V. HACHIGIAN-GOULDd/b/a SEVEN BAR HEART & CATTLE COMPANY Respondents.

          Submitted: September 14, 2004

          FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND JUDGMENT

          MIKE MCCARTER JUDGE

         Summary: UEF seeks reimbursement from an uninsured employer for the benefits it paid to a claimant who was injured on March 22, 1997.

         Held: The claimant's injuries did not occur in the course and scope of employment, therefore he was not entitled to workers' compensation benefits and the UEF is not entitled to reimbursement for the benefits it paid.

         Topics:

Uninsured Employers' Fund: Indemnification. The Uninsured Employers' Fund is entitled to indemnification from an uninsured employer only if it was in fact liable to pay benefits to the claimant. Where it has paid benefits to a claimant who was not in fact injured in the course and scope of employment, the Uninsured Employers' Fund is not entitled to indemnification from the uninsured employer.
Employment: Course and Scope: Compensation. Services provided by a volunteer without expectation or agreement for compensation are not within the course and scope of employment.

         ¶1 The trial in this matter was held in Great Falls, Montana, on September 14, 2004. The petitioner was represented by Ms. Julia W. Swingley. The respondents were represented by Mr. L.D. Nybo.

         ¶2 Exhibits: There were numerous objections to proposed exhibits. The following reflects the actions taken by the Court concerning the exhibits:

Exhibit 1: Admitted for purposes of showing the claim was filed but not for purposes of showing that the claimant was in fact injured in the course and scope of employment.
Exhibits 2-7: Admitted without objection.
Exhibit 8: Pages one through three were admitted. Page four was admitted for limited purposes as reflected in the trial transcript.
Exhibit 9: Admitted without objection.
Exhibits 10-13: Refused.
Exhibit 12 was returned to the petitioner.
Exhibit 14: Admitted over objection.
Exhibit 15: Bank checks in the exhibit were admitted, the remaining pages were refused.
Exhibits 16-17: Admitted without objection.
Exhibit 18: Pages seven and eight admitted. The remaining pages were refused.
Exhibits 19-24: Admitted without objection.

         ¶3 Witnesses and Deposition: Gregory M. Gould, Aimee V. Hachigian-Gould, James M. Spurzem, Patrick L. Paul, and Bernadette M. Rice testified at trial. In addition, the parties submitted the deposition of Robert Williams to the Court for its consideration.

         ¶4 Issues Presented: The Court restates the ...


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