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DENNIS BARNHART v. LIBERTY NORTHWEST INSURANCE CORPORATION

Workers' Compensation Court of the State of Montana

Reinstatement of medical benefits

IN THE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COURT OF THE STATE OF MONTANA 2016 MTWCC 12
WCC No. 2015-3552 DENNIS BARNHART, Petitioner vs. LIBERTY NORTHWEST INSURANCE CORPORATION Respondent/Insurer. FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW, AND JUDGMENT

Summary: Petitioner, who has an extensive history of neck injuries, claimed a work- related neck injury in November 2011. Respondent accepted liability and paid benefits. Petitioner and Respondent settled his claim, reserving medical benefits. However, Respondent then ceased paying medical benefits after an IME examiner opined that Petitioner suffered no injury in the work-related incident. Petitioner thereafter petitioned this Court for reinstatement of his medical benefits.

Held: Petitioner’s industrial accident permanently aggravated his pre-existing neck condition and, therefore, Respondent remains liable for medical benefits. Although Petitioner has reached MMI, he is entitled to reasonable medical services under § 39-71- 704, MCA, and Respondent is liable for those primary medical services Petitioner needs to sustain MMI.

Judgement: Petitioner’s industrial accident permanently aggravated his pre-existing neck condition. Respondent is not relieved of liability for Petitioner’s ongoing medical care because it is not palliative or maintenance care under § 39-71-704(1)(g), MCA. 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.

READ FULL DOCUMENT AT ORIGNAL SOURCE: http://wcc.dli.mt.gov/b/Barnhart_2016MTWCC12.pdf