Maryland Workers Compensation Opinion: New Maryland High Court Ruling

In Smigelski v. Potomac Insurance Co., the Maryland Court of Appeals affirmed a Montgomery County trial court’s judgment in favor of an insurer, finding that under the terms of a workers’ compensation policy that excluded coverage outside of Virginia a Virginia resident is not entitled to workers’ compensation for injuries sustained while performing work in Maryland.

Claimant, a Virginia resident, was injured installing a roof in Maryland. The Maryland Court of Appeals held that the workers’ compensation insurance policy, by its own terms, excluded coverage in states other than Virginia for activities requiring the employer to procure workers’ compensation insurance for work outside of Virginia. The Maryland high court also found that because Claimant was an illegal alien, who cannot bring claims under Virginia workers compensation law, there was no basis to extend coverage. In other words, because Claimant could not bring a claim in Virginia, he cannot bring a workers compensation claim in Maryland.