Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 5. Uninsured Employers

Independent Cause Of Action

39-71-515. Independent cause of action. (1) An injured employee or the employee's beneficiaries have an independent cause of action against an uninsured employer for failure to be enrolled in a compensation plan as required by this chapter.

(2) In an action described in subsection (1), prima facie liability of the uninsured employer exists if the claimant proves, by a preponderance of the evidence, that:

(a) the employer was required by law to be enrolled under compensation plan No. 1, 2, or 3 with respect to the claimant; and

(b) the employer was not enrolled on the date of the injury or death.

(3) It is not a defense to an action that the employee had knowledge of or consented to the employer's failure to carry insurance or that the employee was negligent in permitting the failure to exist.

(4) The amount of recoverable damages in an action is the amount of compensation that the employee would have received had the employer been properly enrolled under compensation plan No. 1, 2, or 3.

(5) A plaintiff who prevails in an action brought under this section is entitled to recover reasonable costs and attorney fees incurred in the action, in addition to damages.

History: En. Sec. 6, Ch. 601, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 1546, Ch. 56, L. 2009.