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Maryland: Police Offer’s Injuries Avoiding His 2-Year-old Found Not Compensable

July 28, 2016 (1 min read)

A Prince George’s County police detective, who sustained ankle and knee injuries when he jumped to the side near the front door of his residence to avoid his two-year-old child as he exited his residence en route to retrieve his police cruiser, did not sustain an injury arising out of and in the course of the employment, held a Maryland appellate court. Accordingly, a decision by a county circuit court that would have awarded benefits was reversed. The officer contended that he was on call and performing a special errand incident to his employment because he had intended to get his cruiser for work the next day. The appellate court disagreed. Quoting from Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 13.01, the court observed that workers’ compensation was not intended to protect the worker from all the perils of the journey. The court noted that at the time of the injury, the police detective was off duty and not discharging any actual police duty at the time of the accident. While he was required to hold himself ready for emergency duty, here the officer had been on vacation during the preceding week and was not scheduled to work for another two days. He had not been under any directive to retrieve his vehicle at the time of the injury. Even under Maryland’s rather expansive use of the positional risk rule, there could be no recovery, indicated the court.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis%20Workers’%20Compensation%20eNewsletter">LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Prince George’s County v. Proctor, 2016 Md. App. LEXIS 74 (July 26, 2016)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 13.01.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law