from the Circuit Court for Baltimore County. John F. Fader,
BY: David K. Stesch (Law Office of Seymour R. Goldstein on
the brief) all of Baltimore, MD. FOR APPELLANT
BY: E. Meredith Schreibfeder (Jamie L. DeSisto, Thomas,
Thomas & Hafer, LLP of Baltimore, MD), (Scott E. Massengill,
Attorney General of Towson, MD). (Dane A. Ruttum, Law Offices
of Joseph M. Jagielski of Baltimore, MD). (Kelli M. Rives,
Law Offices of Pamela Randi Johnson of Hunt Valley, MD). FOR
BEFORE Eyler, Deborah S., Meredith, Wilner, Alan M. (Retired,
Specially Assigned), JJ.
Md.App. 65] Wilner, J.
us is an action for judicial review of an order of the
Workers' Compensation Commission denying appellant's
claim for compensation on jurisdictional grounds. The Circuit
Court for Baltimore County, concluding that the petition for
judicial review was untimely, dismissed it. We shall vacate
the judgment of the Circuit Court and remand for further
Md.App. 66] BACKGROUND
is a carpenter who was a resident of Tennessee. In July 2010,
he was employed by Innovated Construction LLC (Innovated), a
Kentucky company, to come to Maryland to do work at a
Sam's Club facility in Baltimore County. He claimed that,
later that month, he became employed by Construction Labor
Contractors (CLC). In August 2010, he was injured when a
Sam's Club employee operating a forklift struck him.
filed a claim with the Maryland Worker's Compensation
Commission against Innovated, CLC, Rand Construction Company,
and the Maryland Uninsured Employers Fund. The claim was
contested, as to whether appellant was a
" covered employee" and as to who was
appellant's employer for purposes of the Workers'
Compensation law. Neither the claim nor any of the initial
responses to it have been included in the record, so the
precise articulation of those issues, as first presented to
the Commission, is unclear.
order dated December 8, 2010, the Commission, through
Commissioner Macleay, concluded that Innovated was the
correct employer but that, because appellant was a Tennessee
resident and Innovated was a Kentucky company, the Maryland
Commission had no jurisdiction, and, for that reason, the
claim was disallowed. Thus began the saga that followed.
Workers' Compensation Law provides two options, other
than acquiescence, when a party is aggrieved by a Commission
decision. Md. Code, § 9-726(a) of the Labor and
Employment Article (LE) permits a party, within 15 days after
the decision, to file with the Commission a written motion
for a rehearing. Alternatively, LE § 9-737 permits an
aggrieved party, within 30 days after the mailing of the
decision, to file an action for judicial review in accordance
with the Rules in Title 7 of the Maryland
Rules. Appellant chose [227 Md.App. 67] the
first option. On December 23, 2010, he filed a request for
rehearing, complaining that Commissioner Macleay had not
properly applied the applicable statute (LE §
9-203(b)(1)) in dismissing his claim because Innovated had no
workers' compensation insurance applicable to injuries
sustained in Maryland.
January 11, 2011, Commissioner Macleay filed a memorandum
stating that, following review of the request, the Commission
had decided to schedule the matter for a rehearing, and, on
February 8, 2011, the Commission sent notice that the
rehearing would be held on April 13, 2011. On April 7,
however, upon a joint request, a continuance was granted. The
reason stated for the requested continuance was that the
existence, vel non, of workers' compensation
insurance applicable to injuries occurring in Maryland may
resolve the claim and, in that regard, Auto Owners Mutual
Insurance Company (Auto Owners), Innovated's workers'
compensation insurer, was being impleaded as a party. On July
7, 2011, however, before the rehearing was rescheduled,
Commissioner Macleay issued ...