A rehearing in workers’ compensation is the Workers’ Compensation Commission’s reconsideration of a prior decision rendered on a compensation claim.   Req. for Rehearing.  The main issue determined at a rehearing is whether there was an injustice created by the Commission’s initial decision.  The rehearing would probably yield a different result in light of previous error or finding of new, previously undiscoverable, evidence.  82 Am. Jur. 2d Worker’s Compensation § 592 (2010).

State statutes govern rehearings.  100A C.J.S. Workers’ Compensation § 1214 (2010).  In Maryland, a rehearing is granted only if there is new evidence or there was an error of law in the original hearing.  Md. Code Ann., Lab. & Empl. § 9-726 (d) (3) (LexisNexis 2010).  For the motion to be considered, it must contain the alleged error of law or the new evidence to be presented at the rehearing and the applicable statutory or case law.  Md. Code Regs. (2010).  To obtain a rehearing in Maryland, a motion for a rehearing must be filed within 15 days of the Commission’s original decision. Md. Code Ann., Lab. & Empl. § 9-726 (a) (LexisNexis 2010).

Relief granted as a result of such a rehearing is only limited by what justice demands in the case and the relevant state statutory requirements. 100A C.J.S. Workers’ Compensation § 1214 (2010).  Nationally, motions for a rehearing have been granted on other grounds than error of law or the presentation of new evidence.  For instance, a Pennsylvania Superior Court granted a motion for rehearing because employer’s disability prevented her from properly defending herself before the Commission in her original proceeding.  Powell v. Sonntag, 159 Pa. Super. 354 (1946).

A motion for a rehearing is not the same as filing for appeal, nor does it bar a filing for appeal or constitute a stay on the Commission’s original decision. Md. Code Ann., Lab. & Empl. § 9-726 (LexisNexis 2010).  Ruling on a motion for rehearing is not affected by a pending appeal.  A ruling on a motion for a rehearing, however, does affect the questions to be addressed on an appeal.  If the Commission grants a motion for rehearing, the appeal will address all original issues of fact and law and any others brought in on the rehearing.  Alternatively, if the Commission has not yet ruled on the motion for a rehearing, issues of fact and law that are still before the Commission will be addressed on appeal.  Id. At (h)(1) – (2).

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