Depending on the nature of employment, there are some situations where an employee is injured based on the conduct of a third-party. This may include assault or battery. By statute, an accidental injury includes “an injury caused by the willful or negligent act of a third person directed against a covered employee in the course of employment of the covered employee.” See Md. Code Ann. Lab. & Empl. § 9-101(b).
Maryland courts have held that when an employee’s injury is caused by a third-party, it is compensable under workers’ compensation law as long as the employee’s injury arises in the course of the employment. Thus, an injury resulting from an assault by a third-party, which includes a co-worker, is compensable as long as the injury occurred on the employer’s premises or during the course of the employment if the assault occurred elsewhere.
If the assault was provoked or instigated by the injured employee, the employee will not be permitted to receive workers’ compensation benefits.