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Case Results

Seminal Workers' Compensation Case Results:

Murphy Law Firm has represented thousands of Montana workers with their workers' compensation claims. We have successfully fought and prevailed in overturning dozens of unconstitutional laws, promulgated by insurance companies, that deprived injured workers from full legal redress.

  • Stavenjord v. Montana State Fund, 2003 MT 67, 314 Mont. 466, 67 P.3d 229.

Murphy Law Firm challenged the constitutionality of the Occupational Disease Act, which discriminated against diseased as opposed to injured workers. The Montana Supreme agreed with Murphy Law Firm, and it held that the Occupational Disease Act violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Montana Constitution. The Supreme Court held that workers who suffer from “occupational disease” are no different than workers who suffer from an injury at work; therefore, as a result of Murphy Law Firm’s challenge, occupationally diseased workers receive the same benefits as workers who are covered by the Workers’ Compensation Act. Attorney Thomas Murphy did this groundbreaking work without receiving common fund attorney fees despite saving thousands of injured Montanans otherwise denied benefits resulting in millions of dollars in benefits to those workers.

  • Reesor v. Montana State Fund, 2004 MT 370, 325 Mont. 1, 103 P.3d 1019.

Murphy Law Firm challenged the constitutionality of denying full workers’ compensation benefits to injured workers over the age of sixty-five. The Montana Supreme Court reversed the workers compensation court decision and found that an arbitrary age limit on permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Montana Constitution. The Court agreed with Murphy Law Firm that insurers paying more wage loss benefits to younger persons, but limiting payments to elderly workers, violates the Equal Protection Clause. Murphy Law Firm successfully changed decades of law wherein workers compensation insurers unconstitutionally denied equal benefits to elderly workers because of their age.

  • Satterlee v. Lumberman’s Mut. Cas. Co., 2009 MT 368, 353 Mont. 265, 222 P.3d 566.

Murphy Law Firm challenged the constitutionality of the termination of permanent total disability benefits at the age of sixty-five. Murphy Law Firm argued that these injured workers would have continued working but for their career ending injury, which is very common with Montana’s hard work ethic. Murphy Law Firm championed this fight alleging age discrimination, but sadly, in a financial decision, the Montana Supreme Court upheld the law to the detriment of thousands of elderly Montana claimants. Murphy Law Firm fought against the deprivation of millions of dollars of rightful benefits to injured workers across Montana.

  • Parker v. Glacier Park, Inc., 249 Mont. 225, 815 P.2d 583 (1991)

Murphy Law Firm successfully argued that an injured worker was in the “course and scope” of his employment despite the fact that he had been drinking and was in a single motor vehicle accident afterwards. Murphy Law Firm proved that the injured worker had been in the course of employment, and that the worker was totally disabled as a result of his injuries. Due to the thorough investigation conducted, this case resulted in a sizeable third party claim in addition to the workers’ compensation claim.

  • Hensley v. Montana State Fund, WCC No. 2013-3235.

Murphy Law Firm is currently arguing the constitutionality of Insurer denial of class I, permanent whole person impairments when not accompanied with wage loss. This action is currently being decided by the Montana Workers Compensation Court. If successful, this decision will result in millions of dollars of benefits to the poorest of injured workers in Montana.

Seminal Recoveries:

Murphy Law Firm represents injured workers in all aspects of their injury and will bring all claims possible. Our firm specializes in creating multiple avenues of recovery to ensure our clients are made whole and maximize the value of every claim. We regularly recover for clients using multiple claims tailored uniquely for each client's situation. 

  • $980,000.00 recovered on behalf of a client injured at work for personal injury and workers' compensation claims.
  • $765,000.00 recovered on behalf of a client involved in a motor vehicle accident at work for personal injury, workers' compensation, and social security disability benefits.
  • $550,000.00 recovered on behalf of a client injured in a motor vehicle accident in a personal injury settlement.
  • $500,000.00 recovered on behalf of a client injured at work in workers' compensation and social security disability benefits. 
  • $405,000.00 recovered on behalf of a client injured in a motorcycle accident in a personal injury settlement involving multiple insurers.
  • $200,000.00 recovered on behalf of a client injured at work and then terminated in workers' compensation and employment discrimination benefits.
  • $125,000.00 recovered on behalf of a client wrongfully terminated from employment. 

Seminal Social Security Results:

We have represented claimants at several hundred administrative law judge (ALJ) hearings, with a high percentage success rate. If the ALJ denies the claim, we routinely appeal the claim to the Appeals Council. If the case warrants, we will appeal to federal district court. See the following federal court victories.

  • Korst v. Colvin (Case No. 4:13-cv-0069-DLC-RKS) filed in Montana District Court on 8/12/13.

We appealed to federal district court and obtained a remand for additional administrative proceedings. Ultimately, the case was won with an on the record favorable decision five years after the claim began. Due to our efforts, the claimant received over six years of past-due benefits.

  • Cerovski v. Astrue (Case No. cv-11-39-GF-SEH) filed in Montana District Court on 5/26/11.

We appealed to federal district court. Judge Haddon granted the claimant’s Motion for Summary Judgement and remanded the case for an immediate award of benefits. Ultimately, we obtained over five years of past-due benefits for the claimant.

  • Maynard v. Astrue (Case No. cv-12-97-GF-RKS) filed in Montana District Court on 12/4/12.

We appealed the case to federal district court and argued that the ALJ decision contained legal error. The Court agreed and found that the ALJ erred in evaluating a medical opinion and remanded the case.

  • McCrea v. Astrue (Case No. CV-08-34-GF-SHE-RKS) filed in Montana District Court on 5/14/08.

We appealed to federal district court. Prior to briefing, the Social Security Administration agreed to remand the case for a new hearing. After the second hearing, the claimant received over three years of past-due benefits.

  • Smerker v. Barnhart (Case No. cv-05-67-GF-CSO) filed in Montana District Court on 7/12/05.

We appealed the case to federal district court. We successfully argued that the ALJ erred in evaluating the claimant’s credibility and the opinions from her treating physician. The Court granted the claimant’s Motion for Summary Judgment and remanded the case for another ALJ hearing. After two ALJ hearings on the same claim, the claimant finally received her disability benefits.

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