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Quigg v. Montana State Fund

Court of Workers Compensation of Montana

January 14, 2005

GARY L. QUIGG Petitioner
v.
MONTANA STATE FUND Respondent/Insurer.

          Submitted: January 3, 2005

          SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          MIKE McCARTER JUDGE

         Summary: Gary L. Quigg, who is serving a life sentence in the Montana State Prison, filed a petition seeking a determination that upon his release from prison he will be entitled to rehabilitation benefits, along with temporary total and permanent total disability benefits, on account of an injury he suffered while earlier on parole and working in a community service program.

         Held: The petition is dismissed since Quigg does not allege any present entitlement to benefits. He may never become entitled to benefits since he may never be released again from prison.

         Topics:

Jurisdiction: Ripeness. Where the claimant is incarcerated in prison pursuant to a life sentence and may never be released, his entitlement to benefits which might be due if released is speculative and not ripe for adjudication. Courts adjudicate only actual, present controversies.
Jurisdiction: Justiciability. Where the claimant is incarcerated in prison pursuant to a life sentence and may never be released, his entitlement to benefits which might be due if released is speculative and non-justiciable. Courts adjudicate only actual, present controversies.

         ¶1 The matter before the Court is the respondent's Motion for Summary Judgment. Finding that there is no present case and controversy, the motion is granted.

         Uncontroverted Facts

         ¶2 Admissions made in the pleadings and briefs, along with uncontroverted facts taken from discovery exhibits attached to the respondent's Motion for Summary Judgment, provide the following factual background:

¶2a The petitioner is Gary L. Quigg (Quigg or claimant), an inmate at the Montana State Prison. Quigg is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder, having been convicted of that offense in 1968. (Ex. A at 3.[1])
¶2b On February 5, 1993, Quigg was paroled from prison. (Id. at 67.) One of the conditions of his parole was that he perform community service. (Id. at 64.) Thereafter, Quigg began community service under the auspices of Beta Alternatives (Alternatives).
¶2c In April 1993, while performing community service, Quigg injured his back. (Ex. B.[2])
ΒΆ2d At the time of Quigg's injury, Alternatives was insured by the Montana State Fund (State Fund). The State Fund accepted liability for the injury and has paid both medical ...

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