Is Respondent liable to pay Petitioner the value of his medical bills which were paid by another entity?

IN THE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COURT OF THE STATE OF MONTANA 2017 MTWCC 7 WCC No. 2013-3216R1. CRISTITA MOREAU, Individually and as Personal Representative of the Estate of Edwin Moreau vs. TRANSPORTATION INSURANCE CO.

Summary: Respondent accepted liability for the decedent’s occupational disease, and paid certain medical benefits. However, another entity had already paid some of the medical bills for which Respondent would have been liable under § 39-71-704, MCA. Petitioner contends that since that entity does not want to be reimbursed, Respondent should pay the amount of those medical bills to Petitioner. Respondent moved for summary judgment, contending that it is not liable to Petitioner since the decedent received the medical services to which he was entitled. Petitioner cross-moved for summary judgment.

Held: Under controlling case law, Respondent is entitled to summary judgment. It is not liable to pay Petitioner the value of the decedent’s medical bills which were paid by an entity that is not seeking reimbursement from Petitioner. Furthermore, this Court does not have jurisdiction to decide whether Respondent must reimburse another entity that is not a party to this case for paying the decedent’s medical bills.

Judgement: Respondent’s motion for summary judgment is GRANTED. Petitioner’s cross-motion for summary judgment is DENIED.

*Appealed to Montana Supreme Court.