Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 6. Claims for Benefits

Costs And Attorney Fees Payable On Denial Of Claim Or Termination Of Benefits Later Found Compensable -- Barring Of Attorney Fees Under Common Fund And Other Doctrines

39-71-611. Costs and attorney fees payable on denial of claim or termination of benefits later found compensable -- barring of attorney fees under common fund and other doctrines. (1) The insurer shall pay reasonable costs and attorney fees as established by the workers' compensation court if:

(a) the insurer denies liability for a claim for compensation or terminates compensation benefits;

(b) the claim is later adjudged compensable by the workers' compensation court; and

(c) in the case of attorney fees, the workers' compensation court determines that the insurer's actions in denying liability or terminating benefits were unreasonable.

(2) A finding of unreasonableness against an insurer made under this section does not constitute a finding that the insurer acted in bad faith or violated the unfair trade practices provisions of Title 33, chapter 18.

(3) Attorney fees may be awarded only under the provisions of subsection (1) and may not be awarded under the common fund doctrine or any other action or doctrine in law or equity.

History: En. Sec. 2, Ch. 477, L. 1973; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 173, L. 1974; R.C.M. 1947, 92-616(part); amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 63, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 16, Ch. 464, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 464, L. 2003.