Senator Tutvedt Takes Another Swing at the Subrogation Pinata

Posted by Dean Blackaby | Feb 07, 2015 | 0 Comments

Sen 20tutvedt
Sen. Bruce Tutvedt (R-Kalispell)

Kalispell Senator Bruce Tutvedt recently introduced SB 288 in an attempt to carve out some measure of subrogation rights for workers' compensation insurers.

SB 288 proposes to amend 39-71-414, MCA to provide the right of insurers to subrogate against medical payments regardless of whether the injured worker has been made whole.  The bill essentially leaves non-medical payments alone in that regard.

The inability to collect subrogation has long been a source of irritation among insurers and outright anger among policyholders.  The Montana Supreme Court has precluded subrogation for the most part with its decisions in Francetich and McMillen, but more recently (Van Orden) suggested that it was not without exceptions.

The constitutional concerns of SB 288 are raised in the legal note accompanying the bill.

Tutvedt appears undeterred responding that he believes that workers' compensation subrogation is an equitable common law doctrine that is NOT dependent upon the right of full legal redress as provided for in the Montana Constitution.

About the Author

Dean Blackaby

Attorney representing individuals hurt at work; mediation of workers' compensation disputes; settlement consultant focusing on Medicare Secondary Payer compliance and Medicare set-asides.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment


Since 1996, Montana Work Comp Solutions has been creating options for parties in dispute. Removing barriers, solving problems. Attorney Dean Blackaby is committed to generating the best result based on the facts and the goals of his client. All fees for injured workers are contingent fees regulated by the Montana Department of Labor. Fees are collected based on the benefits obtained by the attorney. Fees for mediation and settlement consultation are based on hourly charges.


The Montana Workers' Compensation Act is a complex mixture of statutes, case law and local custom. You should seek the advice of an experienced attorney who has worked on all sides of the Montana system. Call Toll Free 888.779.1898 for a FREE CONSULTATION.