Skip to main content

Loss of consortium and Maryland Workers' Compensation?

Elkton, MD |

I am married, live/work in Cecil County, MD, and have a WC claim pending hearing...

If LoC is barred under WC, can my spouse and I jointly file a separate civil tort suit for loss of consortium/services in Circuit Court?

If LoC is barred under WC, could I drop WC Claim and then my husband and I file a personal injury suit in CC, and include my husband as co-complainant on the count for loss of consortium?

Thanks for your kind attention and any guidance/suggestions.

Mr. Corson IV, et al.: So, how does an injured person truly get restitution, from a work injury, for things that would otherwise be considered within the scope of a normal personal injury action (LoC, pain & suffering, mental anquish, and other non-work related effects on their life)? If I was at a co-worker's home and accidentally slipped and fell, there would be premises liability and I could sue them and claim a number of PI "damages and losses"; however, if the same accident happened at work (and the "person" is a business/corporation) I'd be forced into the WC scheme and be limited/barred from most apects of a PI claim? Is WC so skewed in favor of corporate/business interest as to preclude a truly fair consideration of the totality of the impact on the life of the injured party/worker? Why can't I just drop my WC claim and sue the company under standard premises liability for personal injury, as a business-invitee, like a customer can?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

Workers compensation is the exclusive remedy for your Maryland work injury. The law does not provide for an additional civil suit and you can not dismiss the Maryland Workers Compensation claim because you have no other civil remedy.

Jonathan N. Portner, Esquire, Portner & Shure, P.A. Maryland and Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys. This response is general information and not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This response should not be relied upon. Please note that no attorney-client relationship exists between the sender and the recipient of this message in the absence of either (1) a signed fee contract and (2) remission of an agreed-upon retainer. Absent such an agreement and retainer, I am not engaged by you as an attorney, nor is any other member of my law firm

Mark as helpful

5 lawyers agree

Posted

I think WC will completely bar your LOC claim. Otherwise, the exclusive remedy would not be exclusive.

Attorneys are very competitive. Choose the Best Answer so we know who helped you the most.

Mark as helpful

4 lawyers agree

Posted

WC legislation was a grand compromise whereby the burden of proof to demonstrate eligibility for benefits is much lower than in personal injury actions, there is no comparative negligence, your medical bills are paid as they are incurred, and you get money every week you cannot work so you can pay your bills. In return, the only recovery is an amount to compensate you for the permanent injury to your body. You cannot “choose” to file a different sort of action. If you were injured at work AND nobody else was responsible (e.g. defective machine), the only recourse is through WC. This is what is meant by “sole remedy” - it’s the ONLY option.

If this information has been helpful, please indicate by clicking the up icon. Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Candiano is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Links: ccandiano@themargolisfirm.com http://www.themargolisfirm.com

Mark as helpful

3 lawyers agree

6 comments

Asker

Posted

You make WC sound really good. The only problem with your analysis is that I haven't received a single penny since my accident in late March 2012. My employer/WC insurer contested my claim, and it'll have been 5 months from my accident to my WC hearing. Maryland a "no-fault" WC State, yet they've denied authorizing payment for my two doctors (Chiro, Ortho), and for me to get x-rays, an MRI, an EMG, and physical therapy. Oh, and, no money this whole time (almost five months) for my lost wages (as I'm still not released by my doc to return to work), so now in addition to being injured and unable to work, they've basically made me into a pauper. WC may look good on paper, but in reality it's just another pro-business protection racket... and it's the only option!

Asker

Posted

You said: "If you were injured at work AND nobody else was responsible (e.g. defective machine), the only recourse is through WC." I was injured when I asked a co-worker to help me separate two shopping carts that were "stuck together" (so I could put returned items into them, to be taken to the back of the store for claims processing), and when we each pulled from opposite ends, the carts came apart suddenly, and I fell backwards onto the floor. 1. Could I sue the co-worker who contributed to my injury? 2. Could I sue the shopping cart manufacturer for possible defective product, which contributed to my injury? 3. Would 1 and 2 be filed as separate actions or as one action naming 1 and 2 as co-defendants?

Charles Joseph Michael Candiano

Charles Joseph Michael Candiano

Posted

The suggested actions are not viable and should only be considered if you are a law student analyzing a hypothetical. Ask your attorney when was the Request for Emergency Hearing under Section H26 R was filed because I don't believe it has been pending with no action for 5 months.

Asker

Posted

Not hypothetical. Date of accident 3/21; WC claim filed online 3/24; Defense contested issues filed/recorded 4/19; Notice of Hearing 6/29 (hearing date set for 8/22). 5 months (no money received; no other benefits authorized/paid by insurer - luckily my chiropractor has been willing to see me 2-3x/wk since 3/26 without payment). The whole process, which is the ONLY process afforded to me, and which is supposed to be "streamlined", just seems like one big SHAM!!!

Charles Joseph Michael Candiano

Charles Joseph Michael Candiano

Posted

I understand your frustration. I have two observations: 1.) Please note that on your facts, you waited MORE than 3 months before you filed a Motion for Hearing; and 2.) If this were civil litigation instead of WC, you would be waiting another 2 years for money. No virus found in this message. Checked by AVG - www.avg.com Version: 2012.0.2197 / Virus Database: 2437/5210 - Release Date: 08/19/12

Asker

Posted

Thanks for the additional input. Maryland Work Comp Comm automatically sets a hearing, if within the 21 day consideration period from input of the claim they receive issues/objections from employer/insurer (no motion for hearing required). In my case the consideration date was 4/25 and the issues were logged by WCC on 4/19, so even with the auto-hearing method in MD, the hearing date was still 4 months out, which is a long time to wait while the insurer denies any/all diagnostics/treatment/medicine, nor are they paying you for lost wages.

Personal injury topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics