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Missoula County Public Schools v. Bitterroot Star

Missoula County Public Schools v. Bitterroot Star, 2015 MT 95 (March 31, 2015) (McGrath, C.J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court properly held that a school district employee did not have a protectable privacy interest in investigatory documents, and that any privacy interest she had was outweighed by her position of public trust.

Short Answer: Yes.

Affirmed

Facts: Valerie Addis was the supervisor of food services for Missoula County Public School. During her employment in 2010, the school investigated Addis as to whether she had engaged in fraudulent or illegal financial transactions. Following the investigation, the school district instituted disciplinary action. Addis left the school district and filed a wrongful discharge suit.

The Ravalli County Commission then appointed Addis to serve as the county treasurer.…

Malcolmson v. Liberty Northwest

Malcolmson v. Liberty Northwest, 2014 MT 242 (Sept. 10, 2014) (7-0) Cotter, J.

Issue: Whether MCA § 39-71-604(3), requiring a work comp claimant to authorize the insurer to communicate with health care providers without prior notice to the employee, violates Malcolmson’s constitutional right to privacy.

Short Answer: Yes. Applying strict scrutiny, the Court determines the statute is facially unconstitutional. It is justified by a compelling state interest but is not narrowly tailored to effect that interest.

Affirmed