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Talbot v. WMK-Davis, LLC

Talbot v. WMK-Davis, LLC, 2016 MT 247 (Oct. 4, 2016) (Cotter, J.; McKinnon, J., dissenting) (6-1, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in determining that Montana courts will not conduct a choice of law analysis when determining the validity of a workers’ compensation subrogation lien under Oberson v. Federated Mutual Insur. Co.; and (2) whether the district court erred in grating summary judgment to Talbot.

Short Answer: (1) No; and (2) no.

Affirmed

Estate of Kurth

Estate of Kurth, 2016 MT 188 (Aug. 9, 2016) (Cotter, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court abused its discretion in granting Barstis’s motion to amend, denying Puryers’ motion to amend, and concluding that Kurth died intestate; and (2) whether the district court erred in awarding costs to Barstis.

Short Answer: (1) No; and (2) no.

Affirmed 

Facts: Paul Kurth died in January 2000 at age 82 in Missoula. He had never married and had no children. Before his death, he lived for several years with his niece and her husband, Sinda and Marty Puryer, in Kalispell. In February 1998, Marty hand wrote a document entitled the last will and testament of Paul Kurth. Marty claims that Kurth dictated the contents of the document to him and signed it in his presence and the presence of one other person.…

In the Matter of CC

In the Matter of CC, 2016 MT 174 (July 19, 2016) (Cotter, J.) (5-0, rev’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred in failing to provide a detailed statement of facts justifying CC’s involuntary commitment.

Short Answer: Yes.

Reversed and remanded

Facts: In September 2014, the Lincoln County Attorney petitioned the district court for an order of involuntary commitment, alleging CC suffered from a mental disorder requiring commitment. A mental health professional form the Western Montana Mental Health Center requested the petition be filed, asserting that CC posed an imminent danger to herself and others. The district court issued an order finding probable cause and appointing an attorney, a statutory friend, and a professional person. Upon request by her attorney, CC was examined by a professional person of her own choosing.…

Low v. Reick

Low v. Reick, 2016 MT 167 (July 12, 2016) (Cotter, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in holding that Reicks’ lot is encumbered by a single easement, the existing road, measured 10 feet from each side of the road’s centerline; (2) whether the district court erred by holding Low lacked authority to sign an application for a permit to improve Reicks’ lakeshore property; (3) whether the district court erred by concluding the maintenance agreement is unenforceable against Reicks for lack of consideration; (4) whether the district court erred in holding that Reicks did not breach the maintenance agreement; (5) whether the district court erred by concluding Low breached the road detour agreement, and awarding damages to Reicks; (6) whether the district court erred by concluding Reicks did not convert Low’s fill material; and (7) whether the district court erred in ordering Low to pay Reicks’ attorney’s fees and costs arising from their counterclaim.…

State v. Montgomery

State v. Montgomery, 2016 MT 169 (July 12, 2016) (Cotter, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred in denying Montgomery’s motion to vacate his conviction and dismiss all charges.

Short Answer: No, because Montgomery has made these same claims repeatedly, and is therefore barred under the doctrine of res judicata from raising them again.

Affirmed

Facts: Montgomery pled no contest to felony incest and was given a 20-year suspended sentence in 2004. In 2006 he was charged with numerous felony count of sexual abuse and sexual assault of four children. He pled guilty to two counts of felony sexual assault in exchange for the dismissal of the remaining counts and withdrawal of a persistent felony offender designation. In January 2007, the district court sentenced Montgomery to 20 years in Montana State Prison with 10 years suspended for each felony, to run consecutively with the sexual assault convictions.…

In re the Marriage of Healy

In re the Marriage of Healy, 2016 MT 154 (June 21, 2016) (Cotter, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court had jurisdiction to decide the CSED motion when there was no showing of changed circumstances making the existing child support obligation unconscionable; (2) whether the district court misapprehended the evidence when it made findings about John’s future income potential; and (3) whether the district court erred when it imposed a 10% interest penalty on the parents’ required college trust contributions.

Short Answer: (1) Yes; (2) no, but it abused its discretion in making it retroactive to February 2014; and (3) no.

Affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded

Facts: The Healys married in 1998. They had a daughter in 199 and a son in 2000.…

In re Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, Inc.

In re Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, Inc., 2016 MT 121 (May 24, 2016) (Cotter, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether objector Laura Fortune waived her right on appeal to object to the settlement; (2) whether objector Kevin Budd has standing to object to the settlement agreement; (3) whether the district court abused its discretion in certifying this matter as a class action; (4) whether the district court abused its discretion in approving the settlement agreement; and (5) whether the district court erred by allowing individual settlements.

Short Answer: (1) Yes; (2) no; (3) no; (4) no; and (5) no.

Affirmed

Facts: Claimants assert that while they were insured by Blue Cross Blue Shield (now Caring for Montanans, Inc.) or Montana Comprehensive Health Association (MCHA), they submitted claims that the insurers denied based on policy exclusions that were subsequently disapproved by the Montana Commissioner of Insurance.…

Ibsen v. Caring for Montanans, Inc.

Ibsen v. Caring for Montanans, Inc., 2016 MT 111 (May 11, 2016) (Cotter, J.) (6-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in holding that the UTPA does not create a private right of action, and (2) whether the district court erred in holding that Ibsen’s claims could not be maintained as common law claims.

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

Affirmed

Facts: Ibsen owns and operates the Urgent Care Plus clinic in Helena. He bought health insurance for clinic employees from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) through a Chamber of Commerce program, “Chamber Choices.” In July 2013, Health Care Service Corporation bought BCBSMT’s health insurance business and BCBSMT changed its name to Caring for Montanans, Inc.…

Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance v. Bullock

Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance v. Bullock, 2016 MT 104 (May 10, 2016) (Cotter, J.; Baker, J., concurring) (7-0, aff’d & rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in holding that MIJA has standing to challenge LR 121; (2) whether the district court erred in concluding that LR 121 is preempted by federal law; and (3) whether the district court erred in awarding attorney’s fees to MIJA.

Short Answer: (1) No; (2) no, except for its holding that one section of the law was not preempted; and (3) yes.

Affirmed in part and reversed in part

Facts: During the 2011 legislative session, the Montana Legislature passed House Bill 638, denying certain state-funded services to “illegal aliens,” and submitted the act to Montana voters as a legislative referendum.…

Stonehocker v. Gulf Insur. Co.

Stonehocker v. Gulf Insur. Co., 2016 MT 78 (March 29, 2016) (Cotter, J.) (6-0, aff’d & rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in granting summary judgment to Travelers on the basis that Stonehocker was not a named insured under the uninsured provision of the policy, and (2) whether the district court erred in granting summary judgment to Travelers because at the time of Stonehocker’s injury her personal pickup was not a “temporary substitute auto” under the policy.

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

Affirmed (issue #1) & reversed (issue #2), and remanded for entry of judgment for Stonehocker on coverage 

Facts: Marilyn Stonehocker was a camp cook for Bear Creek Outfitters, a guest ranch near East Glacier.…