In a matter of first impression, the Maryland Appellate Court declined to expand the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act to provide coverage for work-related injuries beyond covered employees and their dependents, but it still barred a non-dependent plaintiff’s wrongful death lawsuit against her late father’s employer.

Summer Ledford, a non-dependent woman in her late 40s, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Jenway Contracting, after her father fell to his death while working as an employee in February 2021. It is undisputed that the decedent’s death was accidental and during the course of his employment. The lawsuit was filed on Ledford’s behalf by Deborah Lynne Potter of Potter Burnett Law in the Baltimore County Circuit Court alleging that Jenway’s negligence caused her father’s death, and she sought damages for mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, loss of services, society, companionship, comfort, protection, attention, counseling, training, guidance, and education.