Hensley v. Montana State FundAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the Workers' Compensation Court that Mont. Code Ann. 39-71-703(2) did not violate Appellant's right to equal protection by denying an impairment award to a worker with a Class 1 impairment who has suffered no wage loss, holding that the statute passes rational basis muster under the Equal Protection Clause of the Montana Constitution.
Section 39-71-703(2) allows impairment awards for claimants without actual wage loss only if they have a Class 2 or higher impairment rating. Appellant, who was designated as Class 1 and was denied an impairment award, challenged the statute, arguing that it violated her constitutional right to equal protection because other workers with different injuries but the same whole-person impairment percentage would receive the award. The WCC denied the challenge. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the WCC did not err in its determination that section 39-71-703(2) did not violate the Equal Protection Clause.