Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

Maryland's court of appeals affirms worker's right to benefits despite a delay in notifying employer of the injury

On October 29, 2009, the Court of Special Appeals ruled, in the case of Este v. ISG Sparrows Point, LLC, that a steel worker's nine-day delay in notifying her employer of an on-the-job knee injury caused no prejudice and therefore, she was entitled to workers' compensation benefits.

At issue in this case is the interpretation of Section 9-704 of the Labor & Employment Article, which requires an employee who suffers a work injury to notify her employer of the injury within ten days. If the required notice, which may be given verbally or in writing, is not given within this proscribed period, the failure to give the notice may be excused and the employee may still have a compensable claim if the employer cannot produce evidence of actual prejudice from the delay in notification.

The Employer, Sparrows Point, claimed that Ms. Estes did not notify it of her injury until 19 days after the injury occurred, when she returned from a previously scheduled vacation. Sparrows Point argued that the nine day delay beyond the ten day requirement cause it prejudice because it could not begin an investigation of the accident or the worker's injuries. The Court disagreed, holding that the employer failed to offer any evidence of harm. The Court pointed to the fact that once the employer did have notice, no investigation was undertaken, nor was the injured worker examined by it's physician until months after the incident, therefore, it was not prejudiced by the delay in notification.

It is important to understand and comply with Maryland's worker's compensation laws. The attorneys at Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, L.L.C., understand the law and will work diligently to protect the rights of injured workers. If you have suffered an injury on the job, contact Valerie A. Grove to discuss your case.

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