Dennis Barnhart v. Liberty Northwest Insurance Corporation
2016 MTWCC 12; WCC No. 2015-3552
DENNIS BARNHART v. LIBERTY NORTHWEST INSURANCE CORPORATION
Summary: Petitioner, who has an extensive history of neck injuries, claimed a work related neck injury in November 2011. Respondent accepted liability and paid benefits.Petitioner and Respondent settled his claim, reserving medical benefits. However, Respondent then ceased paying medical benefits after an IME examiner opined that Petitioner suffered no injury in the work-related incident. Petitioner thereafter petitioned this Court for reinstatement of his medical benefits.
Held: Petitioner’s industrial accident permanently aggravated his pre-existing neck condition and, therefore, Respondent remains liable for medical benefits. Although Petitioner has reached MMI, he is entitled to reasonable medical services under § 39-71-704, MCA, and Respondent is liable for those primary medical services Petitioner needs to sustain MMI.