Graeff, Leahy, Kenney, James A., III (Retired, Specially
day off work, Prince George's County police detective
Melvin Proctor (Appellee) was injured when he jumped to the
side to avoid knocking over his two-year old son as he and
his family were walking out the front door of their home. On
December 14, 2012, Det. Proctor filed a claim with the
Workers' Compensation Commission ("WCC")
contending he was injured while on call and performing a
special errand incident to his employment because he left his
home with the intention of picking up his assigned police
cruiser from the county fleet maintenance facility that day.
On December 27, 2012, the Prince George's County
Executive and County Council ("Appellant, " the
"County"), acting in their capacity as employer and
insurer, filed a statement of contesting issues with the WCC.
The County maintained that Det. Proctor's injuries did
not arise out of the course of his employment and were
29, 2013, the WCC disallowed Det. Proctor's claim. After
a hearing on judicial review in the Circuit Court for Prince
George's County, the court entered its memorandum opinion
and order on January 15, 2015, reversing the WCC's
decision. The County filed a notice of appeal to this Court
on February 6, 2015. The County presents just one issue:
"[w]hether the circuit court erred when it determined
that Appellee's injuries arose out of and in the course
of his employment."
the "'time, place, and circumstances of the accident
in relation to the employment, '" State v.
Okafor, 225 Md.App. 279, 286 (2015) (citation omitted),
we agree with the WCC's determination that Det.
Proctor's injury "did not arise out of and in the
course of employment as alleged to have occurred on September
17, 2012[, ]" where it occurred on his own front porch,
while he was off duty, and before embarking on any task
incident to his employment as a police officer. Accordingly,
in a situation in which Det. Proctor's injuries arose
prior to embarking on any work-related journey, the
"going and coming" rule is not what bars Det.
Proctor's claim, and we need not address the exceptions
to the "going and coming" rule. We hold that the
circuit court erred in its determination that, under the
facts of this case, the positional-risk test necessitated
overruling the decision of the WCC.
date of injury, September 17, 2012, Det. Proctor was employed
by the Prince George's County Police Department as a
detective with the robbery suppression team.Det. Proctor was
on vacation the week preceding the injury, and during this
time his assigned police cruiser was at the County's
automotive repair facility for scheduled maintenance. Det.
Proctor was not scheduled to return to work until Wednesday,
September 19; however, on Monday, September 17, he called
fleet maintenance to determine whether his vehicle was ready
to his testimony before the WCC, when Det. Proctor was
informed that his cruiser was ready, he asked his wife to
drop him off so he could pick up the cruiser. Det. Proctor
was injured as he exited his home. Describing the accident to
the WCC, Det. Proctor stated:
I walked out the front door with my wife and kids. My two
year-old-son -- we were stepping off the front porch -- he
inadvertently stepped in front of me. I looked down.
Instead of knocking him off the front porch, I jumped to the
side to avoid knocking him off the front porch and rolled my
ankle, tore ligaments on the inside and outside of my ankle,
and sprained my knee.
December 14, 2012, Det. Proctor filed a claim for
worker's compensation benefits with the WCC, which the
County contested. The WCC hearing was held on May 14, 2013.
Before the WCC Commissioner, Det. Proctor testified that, as
a member of the robbery suppression team, he worked a normal
schedule but was on call during off hours. Det. Proctor
We have a three man rotation with primary, secondary and
back-up. If a robbery goes out after hours, which, literally
between 24 hours a day, we're called in. The primary goes
in, he assesses the situation, he makes a notification to the
supervisor, the sergeant, or myself by county cell phone.
All members of my squad are issued County cell phones.
Once we're notified of the robbery, then we assess how
much support, manpower is needed. Oftentimes, it depends on
the gravity of the situation, when there's a shooting
involved, the whole squad wouldn't be called in. Even
though they're not on the checkout/call-out sheet. By
doing that, we have to have our county cruisers and be
available to respond in.
We were required to get our cruisers back as soon as possible
by the County fleet maintenance system, because . . .
there's only a limited number of spaces on the lots . . .
the County mandates that once our cruisers are done, to make
sure we pick them up in a timely manner.
Secondly, I need[ed] my cruiser because I had switched out
call-out days with another detective for my being on vacation
the previous week. So I was up, I believe, it's No. 2 on
the call-out list.
Proctor argued that the accident should be compensable as
occurring during a "special errand" because Det.
Proctor was on call and needed to have his county vehicle to
respond, if necessary. The County maintained that, because
the accident occurred in front of Det. Proctor's home
before he had retrieved the cruiser, the special errands
exception should not apply.
29, 2013, the WCC found that Det. Proctor's injury
"did not arise out of and in the course of employment as
alleged to have occurred on September 17, 2012, " and
disallowed the claim.
12, 2013, Det. Proctor filed a petition for judicial review.
At the September 30, 2014 hearing in the circuit court, the
parties agreed that there was no dispute as to the facts of
the case and resolved to ...