Hert v. J.J. Newberry Co.

584 P.2d 656, 178 Mont. 355 (1978)

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Hert v. J.J. Newberry Co.

Montana Supreme Court
584 P.2d 656, 178 Mont. 355 (1978)

Facts

On July 16, 1971, Delilah Hert (plaintiff) suffered injuries when she fell down the stairs during her employment with J. J. Newberry Co. (Newberry) (defendant). Hert was treated by multiple doctors. Dr. E. W. Haaby, a chiropractor, treated Hert beginning August 1, 1971. Hert filed for workers’-compensation benefits and was paid benefits through August 6, 1971. Hert returned to work for Newberry but still had pain. Hert fell a second time during her employment on January 28, 1974. Hert quit her job on October 11, 1974, because she could not tolerate the amount of medication she had to take. Hert filed a petition for a hearing before the Workers’ Compensation Court to recover compensation for injuries she sustained from her first fall in July 1971. The court stated at the beginning of the hearing that it would take judicial notice of the material in the Workers’ Compensation Division file. The court admitted into evidence over Hert’s objection copies of medical reports that were not provided to Hert’s attorney. Dr. Haaby testified at the hearing, but all other medical evidence was by letter-report. The court found that Hert did not prove a causal relationship between her current complaint and the July 1971 injury. The court found that the medical evidence showed there was no present disability. The judge denied benefits to Hert, and Hert appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sheehy, J.)

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