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UM News
March 31, 2011

MISSOULA –

The Supreme Court of the State of Montana will hold a formal session for two cases – Caldwell v. MACo Workers’ Compensation Trust and Kalispell Education Association v. Board of Trustees, Kalispell High School District No. 5 – on Friday, April 15, at The University of Montana.

The session begins at 9:30 a.m. in the University Theatre. It is hosted by the UM School of Law and is open to the public.

Harold Caldwell suffered a traumatic brain injury when he fell on ice while he was working as airport manager for Ravalli County. He was 77 at the time and had been receiving Social Security retirement benefits since age 62.

Caldwell asked for rehabilitation benefits under Montana Workers’ Compensation law so he could return to the workforce. He was refused rehabilitation benefits by his employer’s workers’ compensation insurer under a Montana workers’ compensation statute that excluded such rehabilitation for a worker receiving Social Security retirement benefits. He challenged the statute as a denial of equal protection under the Montana Constitution.

William Hartford was a tenured teacher with the Kalispell High School District. Montana law provides that to teach in a school district, the teacher must have a teaching certificate issued by the state. Hartford had a teaching certificate when he was first employed, and he maintained that certificate until it expired on July 1, 2008, because he failed to take the necessary steps to renew it.

In October 2008 Hartford was made a noncertified substitute teacher by the school district, and he was discharged in December 2008. Later that month, his teaching certificate was reissued by the state. The issue before the court is whether an arbitrator or a court is to decide if Hartford was lawfully discharged.

For more information, visit the School of Law website at http://www.umt.edu/law.

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BD

Western Montana

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Contact: Carla Caballero-Jackson, director of external relations, UM School of Law, 406-243-6254, carla.caballero-jackson@umontana.edu.