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Montana: Extension of Tort Immunity to Professional Employer Organization Does Not Violate State Constitution

May 12, 2018 (1 min read)

The Supreme Court of Montana, construing what some saw as an inconsistency between the state’s workers’ compensation law and its Constitution, held that both parties to an employee leasing arrangement — the employee leasing firm and its client — are immune from tort liability for injuries arising out of and in the course of a worker’s employment in spite of the fact that Article II, 16 of the state’s Constitution appears to afford immunity on to a worker’s “immediate” employer, if that provider has provided workers’ compensation insurance coverage. The Court held that a worker can have more than one “immediate” employer and it also held that under the arrangement at issue, where the client firm contributed funds specifically earmarked for workers’ compensation coverage, it “provided” workers’ compensation coverage even if it did not have a policy of its own. 

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. 

See Ramsbacher v. Jim Palmer Trucking, 2018 MT 118, 2018 Mont. LEXIS 143 (May 8, 2018)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 67.01.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law

 For a more detailed discussion of the case, see