Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Stewart v. Atlantic Richfield Co.

Court of Workers Compensation of Montana

April 12, 2005

DAVID STEWART Petitioner
v.
ATLANTIC RICHFIELD COMPANY Respondent/Insurer.

          Submitted: March 15, 2005

          FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND JUDGMENT

          Mike McCarter, Judge.

         Summary: The claimant suffered a hearing loss due to workplace noise while working for The Anaconda Company. He retired from the Company in 1984 and was provided a hearing aid pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement between the Company and his union but never filed or pursued a claim for workers' compensation or occupational disease benefits until 2002, when he brought his present petition.

         Held: The claimant's only potential entitlement is under the Occupational Disease Act. Under that Act, his claim is barred by section 39-72-403(3), MCA (1983), which is a statute of repose and is not subject to tolling for any reason.

         Topics:

Injury: Accident. A condition which is the result of long-time occupational exposure and develops gradually does not satisfy the injury and accident definitions of the 1983 Workers' Compensation Act even under the micro-trauma doctrine, and is not compensable under that Act.
Occupational Disease: Defined. A condition which is the result of long-time occupational exposure and develops gradually is a compensable occupational disease.
Limitations Periods: Claim Filing: Occupational Disease. Under section 39-72-403(3), MCA, of the 1983 version of the Occupational Disease Act, an occupational disease claim not filed within three years of retirement is extinguished and barred. The limitations period cannot be tolled since the section is a statute of repose.
Constitutions, Statutes, Rules, and Regulations: Montana Code Annotated: 39-72-403(3), MCA (1983). Under section 39-72-403(3), MCA, of the 1983 version of the Occupational Disease Act, an occupational disease claim not filed within three years of retirement is extinguished and barred. The limitations period cannot be tolled since the section is a statute of repose.

         ¶1 The trial in this matter was held in Helena, Montana, on October 27, 2004. The petitioner was present and represented himself. The respondent was represented by Mr. Andrew J. Utick. Following trial, the respondent's counsel was to consult with his client about possible settlement. The Court learned on March 15, 2005, that no settlement occurred and the case was deemed submitted for decision on that date.

         ¶2 Exhibits: Exhibits 1 through 9 were admitted without objection.

         ¶3 Witnesses and Depositions: The petitioner testified. His deposition was also submitted to the Court for consideration.

         ¶4 Issues Presented: The Court restates the issues as follows:

¶4a Whether claimant's request for judgment directing the respondent to pay for hearing aids is barred by the statute of limitations or repose, by the doctrine of equitable estoppel, or by the doctrine of laches.
¶4b If the claimant's request for payment of hearing aids is not barred, whether he is entitled to such payment under either occupational deafness provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act, §§ 39-71-801 to -813, MCA (1983), or the Occupational Disease Act.

         ¶5 Having considered the Pretrial Order, the testimony presented at trial, the demeanor and credibility of the witness, the deposition and exhibits, and the arguments of the parties, the Court makes the following:

         FINDINGS OF FACT

         ¶6 The petitioner, David Stewart (claimant), was employed by The Anaconda Company, from 1947 to September 1, 1984, when he retired. Atlantic Richfield Company is the successor company to The Anaconda Company (the "Company") and inherited ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.