Satterlee v. Lumberman’s Mutual Casualty Company

Date: August 11, 2011

Montana Workers’ Compensation Court VICTORY!

The NFIB Legal Center filed an amicus brief with the Montana Workers’ Compensation Court opposing a challenge to the constitutionality of a state statute passed by the Montana Legislature in 1981.  That statute allows a reduction in workers’ compensation benefits when a claimant becomes eligible for other forms of retirement compensation such as Social Security or a pension. If the court rules in favor of the claimants, the cost of compensating everyone collecting permanent disability now and in the future would increase.

Status: DECIDED. NFIB amicus brief filed 08/08/05. Oral argument held 10/07/05. Workers’ Compensation judge denied the claim asking for lifetime wage replacement benefits for workers who are permanently partially disabled.

The Supreme Court of Montana later granted plaintiff Satterlee’s appeal. NFIB joined in filing an amicus brief to the Supreme Court on 12/9/08. The Montana Supreme Court ruled that a workers' compensation statute that terminated permanent total disability benefits once a worker became eligible for retirement benefits did not violate the worker's equal protection or due process rights.

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