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Tort Law Archives

Massachusetts Recreational Use Statute Doesn't Bar Claim of Mother Who Bought Tickets for Her Kids

blog-img2.jpgMassachusetts, like many states, has what is known as a recreational use statute.  Recreational use statutes provide some amount of immunity to landowners who open their property to the public for recreational use.  Pursuant to the Massachusetts statute, landowners who open their property to the public for recreational purposes without imposing a charge or fee are not liable for personal injury, absent willful, wanton, or reckless contact.  G.L. c. 21, ยง 17C(a).  The statute therefore encourages landowners to open their property up to the recreational use of the public for free.  The Massachusetts Appeals Court recently considered whether it barred a negligence claim of a woman who was injured by a go-cart while her children were driving go-carts, when the mother had not paid an admission fee for herself but had purchased ride tickets for her sons, in the case of Amaral v. Seekonk Grand Prix Corp.

District Court of Massachusetts Finds General Liability Policy Doesn't Cover Injury to Sub-Subcontractor Employee

It is important for any business to be appropriately insured against loss and liability. A failure to have sufficient insurance can result in the business paying for not only the damages but also the expenses of litigation out-of-pocket. 

Massachusetts Landlord Liability For Violent Acts By A Third Party

Rental properties can be highly profitable, but they also carry some risks. A significant risk landlords face is the potential for liability when someone is injured on the property. A landlord's liability for an injury will depend heavily on the circumstances, as seen in the recent case of Belizaire v. Furr.

Massachusetts Recreational Use Statute and Claims against a Town

Sometimes towns or other government entities can be negligent and cause an injury.  Pursuing a claim against a government entity can be very difficult.  Most claims against a government entity in Massachusetts, including claims against a town, are governed by the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act.

Buyer Beware: Premises Liability Cases Where Customers Serve Themselves

In Massachusetts, businesses that allow customers to serve themselves may face liability for hazards created by customers moving the merchandise. In a recent case, the appeals court decided whether the mode of operation doctrine applies when customer manipulation of merchandise creates a hazard that is not related to the merchandise itself. 

Massachusetts Erroneous Conviction Statute and Insufficient Evidence Cases

Massachusetts law allows a person who has been the subject of an erroneous conviction to pursue a claim for compensation.  To recover, a person must first show that he or she is eligible as a member of the class set forth under the statute and then must prove by clear and convincing evidence that he or she did not commit the offense.  The Supreme Judicial Court recently considered the application of the erroneous conviction statute in a case where the conviction was overturned on appeal based on insufficient evidence.

Personal Injury: Are Those Terrible College Showers The Cause?

Often people joke that the showers in college were so bad that they hurt...well if you intend to make the joke a reality and file a civil action in Massachusetts against your college seeking damages for negligent showers you better have evidence to prove causation as the Plaintiff learned in Caffarella v. Bentley University, et al., a recent Middlesex Superior Court case.

Commercial Landlords Beware: Listen to Your Tenant's Complaints About Defects As A Court Has Ruled that You Can Be Liable For Double or Treble Damages

In a stern warning to commercial landlords, a Superior Court judge in Kuong, et al. v. Wong, et al., has ruled that a commercial landlord could be held liable for double or treble damages and attorney's fees under G.L. c. 93A, the consumer protection act, for his failure and neglect to remedy complaints of common area defects which were causing damage to leased units. 

Going to Jail Because the Mailman Delivered the Mail to the Wrong Address

Imagine going to jail for three months because the mailman delivered a package to the wrong address, and then having your lawsuit for negligence against the United States Postal Service dismissed by the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. This is exactly what happened to David Alves after he filed a civil action against the United State Postal Service and local Postal Inspector seeking monetary damages against the Postal Service for negligence.

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