Maryland Court of Appeals Holds That for Occupational Diseases, It’s About the Whole Picture

In a recently reported opinion, the Maryland Court of Appeals held that the Circuit Court for Baltimore County did not abuse its discretion in finding that the claimant, an employee of Baltimore County, had degenerative meniscal tears classifiable as an occupational disease arising out of and in the course of his employment. Baltimore County. v. Quinlan, 215 A.3d 282 (Md. 2019). In October 2015, the claimant filed a claim against
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Maryland’s High Court Reverses Course and Strengthens Modification Powers of the Workers’ Compensation Commission

The Maryland Court of Appeals recently overturned the lower court’s decision limiting the Workers’ Compensation Commission’s (WCC) revisory powers. The Court of Special Appeals previously found the WCC did not have authority to retroactively modify a claimant’s rate of compensation. However, the high court has reversed course and affirmed the commission’s broad powers in the case of Peter Gang v. Montgomery County, No. 67 Sept. Term 2018, 2019 WL 2574657
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Maryland Legislature Says “Yea” To Additional Medical Presumptions, “Nay” To Medical Cannabis Reform in Workers’ Compensation Cases

The 2019 Maryland legislative session only produced one substantive law change that impacts the Maryland Workers’ Compensation framework. Additionally, two bills that did not get passed also sent conspicuous messages to practitioners within the bar. The lone bill implicating Maryland Workers’ Compensation that was passed into Law is House Bill 595, which was approved by Governor Larry Hogan on April 30, 2019. The bill serves as an amendment to Labor
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The Going and Coming Rule Does Not Always Apply

In an unreported opinion, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals held that the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County did not err in finding that a public safety officer, who was injured in an accident while driving his personal motor cycle to retrieve his cruiser before beginning his shift, was a compensable accidental injury under the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act. Prince George’s County v. Zonn, 1514,SEPT.TERM,2017, 2018 WL 6721767, (Md. Ct.
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New Year, New Compensation Rates!

Every year, the Maryland legislature mandates the Workers’ Compensation Commission to determine the maximum compensation rates for the state Average Weekly Wage. The Department of Labor and Licensing Regulation computes the state Average Weekly Wage and provides that figure to the Commission for consideration of compensation rates for the fiscal year. This year, the Average Weekly Wage of workers covered by Maryland Unemployment is $1,116.00, an increase of 2% from
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Limitations on the Revisory Powers of the Workers Compensation Commission

While unreported, the Court of Special Appeals has interpreted some boundaries to revisory powers in the case of Montgomery County, Maryland v. Peter Gang, No. 00768 Sept. Term 2017, 2018 WL 3801772 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. Aug. 9, 2018). The background of the case establishes that the claimant, Peter Gang was a public safety worker for Montgomery County at the time of his September 17, 2011 work injury. Due to
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Maryland Courts Affirm that the Average Weekly Wage Will Not be Liberally Construed

The Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act is to be liberally construed in favor of the claimant. However, there are boundaries, one of which is the computation of a claimant’s average weekly wage as the Court of Special Appeals articulated in Stine v. Montgomery County, 237 Md.App. 374 (2018). In Stine, the claimant was working as a volunteer emergency medical technician (EMT) for Montgomery County while studying as a nursing student. On
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Summary Judgment and the “Coming and Going” Doctrine: It’s Complicated

Injuries occurring during an ordinary commute to and from work are not compensable under the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act. The “coming and going” doctrine has always required in in-depth factual analysis for each case to determine if any exceptions to this doctrine apply. The Court of Appeals recently decided what should be considered a factual or legal determination in the context of a summary judgment decision on this issue. Calvo
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Maryland’s Second Highest Court Recounts and Applies Critical Zakwieia and Reger Cases in Rendering New Opinion

The 2017 calendar year saw the introduction of two prominent cases addressing the offset afforded under Labor and Employment Section 9-610 and two simple words: “similar benefits.”  Two cases, two words … little to no clarity. Now, 2018 has seen its first opinion from Maryland’s highest court addressing the critical statute governing disability benefits owed to covered employees of governmental units or quasi-public corporations. A more complete analysis of the
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It’s All About the Money — Recent Developments Regarding the Calculation of Claimant’s Average Weekly Wage

Recently, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland (CSA) weighed in on the calculation of claimant’s average weekly wage when an employee, hired for full-time employment, involuntarily worked in a part-time capacity in the weeks leading up to his accidental injury. In Richard Beavers Construction, Inc., et al. v. Wagstaff, 2018 WL 1129655 (2018), the CSA held that the Workers’ Compensation Commission properly determined a claimant’s average weekly wage based
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