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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Maryland State Senate Passes Bill Requiring Self- Insured Employers to Report Fraud

On March 6, 2018, the Maryland State Senate passed a bill that would require self-insured employers to report workers’ compensation fraud to the Maryland Insurance Administration’s Fraud Division. S.B. 575 was sponsored by Senator Katherine Klausmeier of Baltimore County and is now pending in the Maryland House. Subject to any further changes and amendments, it is expected to be passed by the House and take effect in October 2018. The
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The Aftermath of Zakwieia and Reger — The Court of Special Appeals Finds LE §9-610 Offset Does Not Apply to Ordinary Disability Benefits for a Different Injury

In the past year there has been a flurry of litigation in Maryland regarding what exactly a “similar benefit” is, and when an offset is warranted under Labor and Employment § 9-610. We first had Zakwieia in early 2017, holding that a similar benefit is “whether the benefits provide a similar wage loss benefit to a workers’ compensation award, not whether the benefits accrue from a similar injury.” Zakwieia v. Baltimore
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The Law Is Fickle – Maryland Court of Appeals Clarifies Zakwieia, the Phrase “Similar Benefits,” and its Effect on Disability Offsets

Recently, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland (CSA) held that the phrase “similar benefits,” found within LE §9-610, examined whether an employee’s ordinary disability benefits provided a similar wage loss benefit to the employee’s workers’ compensation benefits. Zakwieia v. Baltimore County, Board of Education, 231 Md. App. 644 (2017). The practice of law is fast-paced and waits for no one. In Reger v. Washington County Board of Education, et
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