Kobe v. Montana State Fund

2005 MTWCC 38 (2005)

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Kobe v. Montana State Fund

Montana Workers’ Compensation Court
2005 MTWCC 38 (2005)

Facts

Bonnie Kobe (plaintiff) was employed by Ruby Valley National Bank (Ruby) from October 1998 until January 2004. Kobe worked five days a week, eight hours each day. Ruby had about a 30-minute commute each way. In November 2001, Kobe injured her neck at work. Ruby’s insurer, the Montana State Fund (defendant), paid medical benefits to Kobe and gave her a 6 percent impairment award. After her injury, Kobe was treated by several physicians, but she continued working full-time despite the pain. In January 2004, Kobe left her employment with Ruby and began working for Beaverhead Bank (Beaverhead) three days a week, nine hours each day. Beaverhead was a five-minute commute. Kobe did not suffer a wage loss with her change in employment. Kobe was not medically restricted from full-time work but chose to work part-time at Beaverhead. One of the considerations Kobe made in working part-time was to see her grandchildren more often. Kobe was financially secure enough that she did not have to work, and her pain decreased over time. Although Kobe received a 6 percent impairment award, she filed for permanent partial-disability benefits.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McCarter, J.)

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