Articles Posted in Civil Litigation

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The Estate of Steven Gavin filed a wrongful death action against the Commonwealth and Tewksbury State Hospital under the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act, alleging that Gavin’s death was caused by the negligence of hospital staff members. The presentment of the claim was made by the Estate, through its attorney, and not by the executor or administrator of the Estate. The superior court allowed Defendants’ motion to dismiss, concluding that the statutory requirements for presentment of a claim under the Act were not met in this case. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment of the superior court, holding that, under the circumstances of this case, the presentment made by the Estate, before the appointment of an executor or administrator, was proper. Remanded.View "Estate of Gavin v. Tewksbury State Hosp." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff-insurance company filed suit against Defendant-manufacturer, alleging various theories of products liability. Defendant raised the defense of a lack of personal jurisdiction in its answer but did not file a motion to dismiss the case on that basis. Twelve months after filing its answer to the complaint, during which time Defendant pursued litigation on the merits, Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment based on the defense of a lack of personal jurisdiction. The superior court denied Defendant’s motion, concluding (1) the court lacked personal jurisdiction over Defendant, but Defendant waived this defense by litigating the merits of the case and thereby submitting to the jurisdiction of the court; and (2) genuine issues of material fact existed as to the merits, which precluded the entry of summary judgment. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) where a party raises the defense of lack of personal jurisdiction in a responsive pleading, the party’s subsequent conduct may, in some circumstances, result in a forfeiture of that defense; and (2) the superior court did not err in denying Defendant’s motion for summary judgment in this case.View "Am Int’l Ins. Co. v. Robert Seuffer GmbH & Co. KG" on Justia Law