IN THE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COURT OF THE STATE OF MONTANA 2018 MTWCC 4, WCC No. 2017-4131. SCOTT SELLEY vs. ACUITY INSURANCE COMPANY; VICTORY INSURANCE CO. INC.; and DOES 1-5.
ORDER DECLINING TO CONSIDER PETITIONER’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Summary: Petitioner moves for partial summary judgment on his penalty claim against the second insurer, arguing that its refusal to authorize an MRI is unreasonable under the Belton rule, which provides that when two insurers deny liability for a claim, and assert that the other is liable, the second insurer has a duty to pay benefits under a reservation of rights until the claim is resolved. The parties have submitted nearly 300 pages of exhibits, the majority of which are medical records, in support of their positions.
Held: Although insurers have a duty to investigate claims, which includes obtaining diagnostic tests, this Court declines to consider Petitioner’s partial summary judgment motion under ARM 24.5.329(1)(b), because judicial economy will be not served by deciding the penalty claim against the second insurer before trial.
Judgment: This Court concludes that there will be no economy in ruling on a partial summary judgment motion; therefore, this Court declines to rule upon Selley’s summary judgment motion pursuant to ARM 24.5.329(1)(b); instead, this Court will rule upon Selley’s penalty claim when deciding the merits of this case.
READ FULL DOCUMENT AT ORIGNAL SOURCE: http://wcc.dli.mt.gov/S/Selley_2018MTWCC4.pdf