Maryland Appellate Court: New Workers Comp Opinion

In Darby v. Marley Cooling, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals considered the question of whether an employee that prevailed before the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission may file an “intent to participate” in a Circuit Court appeal and raise objection to the rest of the Commission’s decision or whether the employee is required to file a cross appeal.

This does not sound like a particularly serious workplace accident case although the Plaintiff was struck on the head by a 24′ by 12″ by 6″ aluminum board used as a temporary work surface, which was dropped by a co-worker. He did not have significant head injuries and returned to work on the day of the accident. Plaintiff had tenderness at the C2 through C7 vertebra. Plaintiff took a trapezius bilateral test that was positive for pain, and x-rays showed a straightening and loss of the anterior cervical lordosis (a finding that is often insignificant).

Plaintiff prevailed before the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission and the employer appealed to the Baltimore County Circuit Court.

The Court found that Maryland Rule 7-203(b) requires a cross-appeal from Plaintiff for a portion of any administrative agency decision aggrieving a cross-appellant. The fact that Maryland workers’ compensation claims are de novo does not confer interest on the injured worker requiring continuation of proceedings in order to permit challenge to portions of orders by which injured workers were not aggrieved.
You can read the full opinion here.