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TIM REULE vs. ANDREW N. BROCK and CHRIS M. ALBRECHT and UNINSURED EMPLOYERS’ FUND.

Workers' Compensation Court of the State of Montana

Is employer liable to reimburse Uninsured Employer’s Fund?

IN THE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COURT OF THE STATE OF MONTANA 2017 MTWCC 3
WCC No. 2015-3585. TIM REULE vs. ANDREW N. BROCK and CHRIS M. ALBRECHT and UNINSURED EMPLOYERS’ FUND.

Summary: The UEF moves for partial summary judgment on the grounds that there are no disputes of material fact and, as a matter of law, Petitioner is liable to reimburse the UEF for all the workers’ compensation benefits it has paid or will pay on Petitioner’s behalf. The UEF maintains Petitioner is liable as a statutory employer under § 39-71- 405, MCA, which is Montana’s “contractor-under” statute. Petitioner opposes the UEF’s motion, and cross moves for partial summary judgment, arguing § 39-71-405(2), MCA, does not apply because Respondent Brock was an independent contractor, or if Petitioner is made liable by § 39-71-405(2), MCA, that statute is unconstitutional.

Held: There are no disputes of material fact; as a matter of law, Petitioner is liable as a statutory employer under §§ 39-71-405(2), and -504(1)(b), MCA, to reimburse the UEF for all the workers’ compensation benefits it has paid or will pay on Petitioner’s behalf; and Petitioner’s constitutional challenge fails. Therefore, the UEF is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the issue of Petitioner’s liability.

Judgment: The UEF’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment is granted. Petitioner’s Cross Motion for Partial Summary Judgement is denied.

READ FULL DOCUMENT AT ORIGNAL SOURCE: http://wcc.dli.mt.gov/r/Reule_2017MTWCC3.pdf