Case Update - Act of Third Party Not Compensable if Not Within Scope of Employment


Doe v. Buccini Pollin Group, Inc., 201 Md. App. 409 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2011) [10/03/2011]

The question to be answered in this appeal is whether an injury suffered by an employee at the hands of a third party was directed at him in the course of his employment. The Commission awarded benefits, which the Circuit Court of Baltimore City reversed. The Court of Special Appeals affirmed the Circuit Court holding that the assault was not "directed" against the employee in the course of his employment. The employee was employed at the BWI Hilton Hotel and was responsible for setting up banquets including setting up tables. The employee got into an argument with a co-employee over a supply cart. The co-employee called a friend and told him that the employee had touched her hand and that he should "get his thing and come take care of him." The friend followed the employee home and upon arrival shot the employee, rendering him a paraplegic. The Circuit Court reversed the Commission on the grounds that the employee was neither at work nor performing any task incident to his employment at the time of the shooting. The Court of Appeals concluded that the employee did not suffer an accidental injury within the meaning of the Act based on the going and coming rule.