Archive | Affirmed

RSS feed for this section

City of Libby v. Hubbard

City of Libby v. Hubbard, 2018 MT 2 (Jan. 2, 2018) (Rice, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether Hubbard’s conviction should be reversed because of ineffective assistance of counsel.

Short Answer: No.

Affirmed

Facts: Hubbard and her cousin went to a Libby casino to gamble. Hubbard presented a fake ID to obtain a gambling coupon. An employee recognized her and called police. Upon investigation, the officers confirmed that Hubbard had no outstanding warrants, but that her Oregon driver’s license was suspended. She was not cited for using the fake identification.

Shortly after, the officers were on patrol when they saw Hubbard driving. Knowing her license was suspended, they initiated a traffic stop, and arrested her.…

Moreau v. Transportation Insur. Co.

Moreau v. Transportation Insur. Co., 2018 MT 1 (Jan. 2, 2018) (McGrath, C.J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the Workers’ Compensation Court erred in granting summary judgment to Transportation Insurance Company.

Short Answer: No.

Affirmed

Facts: Moreau’s husband, Edwin, worked for W.R. Grace in Libby from 1963-1992. In 2009, Edwin died from asbestos-related lung cancer.

In 2000, Grace established the Libby Medical Plan to pay medical expenses for employees injured by asbestos. The Plan paid about $95,000 of Edwin’s medical expenses. In September 2012, as part of Grace’s bankruptcy, certain rights and duties of the Plan were transferred to the Libby Medical Plan Trust. Grace remained responsible for the Plan’s ongoing obligations incurred before that time.

In 2010, Moreau, as PR of Edwin’s estate, filed a work comp claim for occupational disease benefits.…

Zirkelbach Construction, Inc. v. DOWL, LLC

Zirkelbach Construction, Inc. v. DOWL, LLC, 2017 MT 238 (Sept. 26, 2017) (Wheat, J.) (7-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred in granting DOWL’s motion for partial summary judgment.

Short Answer: No.

Affirmed

Facts: SunCap owns real property in Billings on which a FedEx Ground facility was to be built. SunCap hired Zirkelbach, a company with extensive experience building FedEx facilities, as the general contractor. Zirkelbach hired DOWL, an experienced design company, to design the facility.

Zirkelbach and DOWL entered into an agreement under which Zirkelbach would pay DOWL $122,967 for services. The parties later added addenda to the agreement, which raised the final fee to DOWL to $655,000. The agreement included a provision under which both parties waived an special, incidental or consequential damages, and agreed that DOWL’s liability to Zirkelbach would be limited to $50,000.…

State v. Nelson

State v. Nelson, 2017 MT 237 (Sept. 26, 2017) (Wheat, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred in denying Nelson’s motion to suppress.

Short Answer: No.

Affirmed

Facts: In July 2015, a waitress and a coworker called 911 to report a drunk person driving away from the restaurant where they worked. MHP Officer Burson was on patrol when he received the report from dispatch. Eleven minutes after the initial report, he located the vehicle in a hotel parking lot, where he observed it drive from the check-in area to a parking spot. The officer activated his lights and made contact with the driver, Nelson. After conducting a DUI investigation, he arrested Nelson for DUI.…

Moore v. Goran, LLC

Moore v. Goran, LLC, 2017 MT 208 (Aug. 22, 2017) (McGrath, C.J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1)Whether the crushed aggregate material is a “good” under the Uniform Commercial Code, and (2) whether the weight of the material as determined at the seller’s gravel pit formed the basis of payment under the sales contract.

Short Answer: (1) Yes, and (2) yes.

Summary judgment for seller affirmed

Facts: Mark Moore owns a gravel pit north of Red Lodge. Goran, LLC is a Utah company contracted by the Montana DOPT to build the Red Lodge Tied projects. Moore and Goran entered into a contract under which Moore agreed to provide Goran with crushed aggregate material. The parties used Goran’s form contract.…

Ally Financial, Inc. v. Stevenson

Ally Financial, Inc. v. Stevenson, 2017 MT 190 (Aug. 8, 2017) (Wheat, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in determining it had subject matter jurisdiction, and (2) whether venue was proper in Chouteau County under § 30-14-133(1), MCA.

Short Answer: (1) No, and (2) yes.

Affirmed

Facts: Stevenson bought a fifth wheel trailer from Big Sky RV, Inc. in 2014 for $72,595. She traded in her previous trailer for $8,000, provided a down payment of $21,773, and financed the remainder through Ally Bank. Big Sky delivered the new trailer to Stevenson’s home in Chouteau County in August 2014, and picked up her trade-in the same day.…

Asurion Svcs., LLC v. Mont. Insur. Guaranty Assoc.

Asurion Svcs., LLC v. Mont. Insur. Guaranty Assoc., 2017 MT 140 (June 13, 2017) (Shea, J.; Sandefur, J., dissenting) (4-1, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred in granting SJ to Asurion based on work comp exclusivity.

Short Answer: No.

Affirmed

Facts: While employed by Asurion, Harris filed industrial injury claims for two different incidents, occurring on May 5, 2002, and September 4, 2002. Asurion was insured by Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Company as a Plan 2 employer. Lumbermens accepted and adjusted Harris’s workers’ compensation claims until it was declared insolvent in May 2013. When Lumbermens went into liquidation, the MIGA assumed handling of Harris’s claims pursuant to the Montana Insurance Guaranty Association Act (Guaranty Act), § 33-10-101, et seq., MCA.…

Draggin’ Y Cattle Co., Inc. v. Junkermeier, Clark, Campanella, Stevens, P.C.

Draggin’ Y Cattle Co., Inc. v. Junkermeier, Clark, Campanella, Stevens, P.C., 2017 MT 125 (May 30, 2017) (Baker, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in holding that Judge Huss should have been disqualified and (2) whether the district court erred in vacating Judge Huss’s order issued after he should have disqualified himself.

Short Answer: No.

Affirmed

Facts: On remand following reversal of summary judgment for Junkermeier, Judge Huss assumed jurisdiction. Peters and Junkermeier entered into a settlement agreement and stipulated for entry of judgment without New York Marine’s participation or authorization in November 2014. New York Marine moved to intervene in December 2014 to oppose the settlement, and requested additional discovery and a stay of the scheduled reasonableness hearing.…

Belanus v. Potter

Belanus v. Potter, 2017 MT 95 (April 26, 2017) (Wheat, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court correctly concluded that Belanus’s claim is barred by the statute of limitations; (2) whether the district court correctly concluded that Belanus’s claim is barred by res judicata; and (3) whether the district court abused its discretion in finding Belanus to be a vexatious litigant and issuing a pre-filing order against him.

Short Answer: (1) Yes; (2) yes; and (3) no.

Affirmed

Facts: Belanus was convicted in June 2009 of aggravated kidnapping and sexual intercourse without consent of his then-girlfriend, TC. A key piece of evidence was a taped telephone conversation that occurred a few months before the assault in which a drunken Belanus threatened TC with death and bodily injury.…

Nolan v. Riverstone Health Care

Nolan v. Riverstone Health Care, 2017 MT 63 (March 21, 2017) (Sandefur, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred in dismissing Nolan’s complaint for failure to comply with the service of process rules.

Short Answer: No.

Affirmed

Facts: In February 2013, Nolan filed a pro se complaint against RiverStone alleging that it violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments (prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment) by denying him access to a prescribed pain medication (Hydrocodone) while incarcerated. Nolan subsequently filed additional pro se documents and mailed some to RiverStone’s general business address. In April 2014, after obtaining issuance of a summons, Nolan mailed the summons to RiverStone along with purported amendments to his original complaint. The attempted mail service did not include his original complaint or an amended complaint.…