Recent Decisions in Maryland Workers' Compensation



The basic holding in the cases are included for your quick review. If you have any questions about these cases specifically or the law regarding workers' compensation that may have been affected by these cases please feel free to contact any attorney at any time.

Willis v. Montgomery Co. , 445 Md. 523; 3 A.3d 448 (2010)

Decision by the Workers' Compensation Commission rejecting the Employer and Insurer's request that a case be referred to the Maryland Fraud Division is not appealable. However, the Court did note that the Employer and Insurer were not prevented from filing a complaint directly with the Office of the State's Attorney to seek the prosecution of the Claimant or filing issues with the Commission to seek an Order for reimbursement of benefits erroneously paid based upon alleged fraudulent activities to the Claimant.

Walmart Stores, Inc. v. Holmes ,

This case involves whether a surviving spouse is entitled to permanent disability benefits to which the spouse could have been entitled. The finding in this case was based upon whether the spouse was in fact a dependent of the deceased injured worker. The Labor & Employment Article Annotated Code states that payments made to a surviving spouse where there is a legal obligation to support. The Court of Appeals ultimately found that there is no affirmative legal obligation to support a spouse solely by virtue of the marital tie. Therefore, a widow of an injured worker must show that she was in fact supported by the injured worker.

Lecronier v. United Parcel Service ,

This case involves the proper venue for an appeal of a workers' compensation decision. Here the Claimant took an appeal in Baltimore City. The Employer and Insurer filed a Motion to Transfer the case to Anne Arundel County. That motion was granted. The Court of Special Appeals looked to the Courts Judicial Proceedings Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland. The Court ultimately found that the venue can be based upon a residence or the place where the individual regularly conducted business or is employed. It was uncontroverted that the Claimant regularly made deliveries to Baltimore City. This proved to be enough evidence for the Court of Special Appeals to find that the Claimant regularly conducted business in Baltimore City and therefore, that would be a proper venue for the case.

Zurich American Insurance Co. v. Uninsured Employers Fund, et al. ,

This case involved whether the statutory Employer was liable for injuries that occurred outside the state in which the contract for coverage was created. The Court of Special Appeals ultimately found that based upon the contract between the alleged statutory Employer and its Insurer, the Claimant was a covered employee at the time of injury in Maryland. Therefore, the Insurer was liable for payment.


Thomas v. Panco Management of MD., LLC ,

Although this case does not directly effect workers' compensation it could effect potential subrogation interests of the Employer and Insurer. In this case, a Plaintiff slipped on black ice thereby injuring herself. At trial, the Claimant testified that she knew there was a potential of black ice because the Claimant noted a wet sidewalk and lowering temperatures prior to traversing the dangerous area. The Claimant argued that the area where she fell was the only means of egress to her apartment building, therefore, it was necessary for her to travel in that particular area. The main issue before the Court was whether the Claimant voluntarily undertake these actions it would be considered a subsequent risk. The Court of Special Appeals ultimately found that the Claimant did assume the risk of injury. The Court noted that she opted not to take the safe choice under those circumstances according to the Court, would be not to leave the apartment building. This case may also affect workers' compensation claims when dealing with a claim that has a potential subrogation interest.