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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.…

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.…

JAS, Inc. v. Eisele

JAS, Inc. v. Eisele, 2016 MT 33 (Feb. 16, 2016) (Shea, J.; Baker, J., concurring) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether Bank of America’s notice of the trustee’s sale precludes it from objecting to the sale because it did not strictly comply with the Small Tract Financing Act of Montana; (2) whether Bank of America was entitled to notice of the trustee’s sale when it did not have a recorded interest in the property at the time of the sale; (3) whether JAS in entitled to repayment of funds it paid to OneWest Bank for the property purchased at the trustee’s sale.

Short Answer: (1) No; (2) the Court will not address this issue because it was not raised below; and (3) the Court will not address this issue because it was not raised below.…

In the Matter of the Guardianship of AMM

In the Matter of the Guardianship of AMM, 2015 MT 250 (Aug. 24, 2015) (Shea, J.; Rice, J., concurring) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court abused its discretion in denying Timothy’s motion to vacate the March 24, 2014 FOF/COLs and Judgment; (2) whether the district court erred in striking Timothy’s reply brief; (3) whether the district court abused its discretion by limiting the powers of the joint conservators and not allowing them to act in AMM’s elected corporate roles; (4) whether the district court abused its discretion in awarding attorney fees to Wold; (5) whether the district court abused its discretion in ordering Timothy to personally pay attorney fees to Emerson as part of a Rule 11 sanction; and (6) whether Timothy can allege violations of the Montana Rules of Professional Conduct in this appeal.…

Estate of Bennett

Estate of Bennett, 2013 MT 230 (Aug. 20, 2013) (7-0) (Rice, J.)

Issue: Whether the Court should issue a writ of supervisory control over the lower court’s order holding that the Bennetts are not entitled to damages from the wrongful death of their adult son.

Short Answer: Yes. Wrongful death damages are personal to the survivors, and are not controlled by intestate succession statutes.

Writ granted