Montana Supreme Court News

Supreme Court to Hear BP Unit’s Dispute over Montana Superfund Site

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to a hear a bid by a unit of British oil major BP Plc to avoid a lawsuit by private landowners in Montana seeking to force the company to pay for …

Montana Courts Finds That Falling Boulders Constitute ‘Earth Movement’ for Purposes of Policy Exclusion

The Montana Supreme Court in Parker v. Safeco Ins. Co. of America, 384 Mont. 125, 2016 MT 173, 376 P.3d 114 (2016), held that an earth movement exclusion was not limited solely to damages caused by soil movement. The Court …

Montana Supreme Court Adopts Notice-Prejudice Rule

In 2011, the Montana Supreme Court issued its decision in Steadele v. Colony Ins. Co., 2011 MT 208, 361 Mont. 459, 260 P.3d 145 (2011) concluding that compliance with the notice requirement in an insurance policy was a condition precedent …

Right to Intervention Upheld by Montana Supreme Court

In Abbey/Land, LLC v. Interstate Mechanical, Inc., 378 Mont. 372, 345 P.3d 1032 (2015), the Court held that an insurance company has the right under Montana law to intervene in order to present its arguments and evidence concerning the reasonableness …

Montana Court Hears Arguments In Jury Award Cap Case

The Montana Supreme Court heard arguments Friday in an appeal of a case that could determine whether the state’s $10 million cap on jury awards for punitive damages will stand. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported attorneys debated before the court …

Montana Company Seeks to Strike State Cap on Punitive Damage Awards

A Butte-based office supply company is asking the Montana Supreme Court to uphold a lower judge’s ruling that the state’s cap on punitive damage awards is unconstitutional. The constitutional challenge filed by Masters Group International Inc. comes after a Butte-Silver …

Montana Weighs in on the Obligation to Provide Co-Counsel to Assist Another Insurer Defending Mutual Insureds

The insurance company’s duty to defend commonly requires the insurance company to hire legal counsel although that requirement may not be present in every case. The issue of dual representation recently came before the Montana Supreme Court in State Farm …

Property Value at Crux of Montana Arson Appeal Denial

The Montana Supreme Court has denied a petition for post-conviction relief filed by a Billings man who argued that a District Court judge misinterpreted the state’s arson law and that he had ineffective attorneys. The Dec. 20 Supreme Court ruling …

Montana Supreme Court Rules Hutterites Must Pay Workers’ Compensation

A sharply divided Montana Supreme Court has ruled that forcing a Hutterite religious colony to pay workers’ compensation insurance for jobs outside the commune is not an unconstitutional intrusion into religion. The 4-3 decision upholds a 2009 law requiring religious …

Montana Court OKs Landowners’ Claims Over Lake Water Levels As Class Action

The Montana Supreme Court has ruled that litigation concerning the Kerr Dam on Flathead Lake and possible damage to lakeshore property resulting from fluctuating lake levels can proceed as a class-action lawsuit. The Daily Inter Lake reported that the court …