IN THE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COURT OF THE STATE OF MONTANA 2016 MTWCC 3 WCC No. 2014-3374 CLOY HARTUNG Petitioner vs. MONTANA STATE FUND Respondent/Insurer. FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW, AND JUDGMENT
Summary: Petitioner maintains that the settlement of his workers’ compensation claim should be reopened or rescinded because he lacked the mental capacity to consent to the settlement or because his consent to settle was obtained through undue influence. Respondent counters that the facts of the case do not show any undue influence exerted on Petitioner to settle his claim, and the fact that Petitioner has entered into two marriages, a dissolution of marriage, and two attorney retainer agreements with his current legal counsel is evidence of his capacity to contract. Respondent also points out that Petitioner does not have a guardian or a conservator appointed to help him manage his affairs, and he has never been adjudicated incompetent.
Held: Petitioner has failed to prove he lacked the mental capacity to understand the terms of the Petition for Settlement and has failed to prove that Respondent exerted undue influence over him. He is not entitled to reopen or rescind the settlement on the grounds asserted.
JUDGMENT: Petitioner has failed to carry his burden of proving he is entitled to reopen or rescind his Petition for Settlement. Pursuant to ARM 24.5.348(2), this Judgment is certified as final and, for purposes of appeal, shall be considered as a notice of entry of judgment.
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