Posts tagged "1013515"

Murray v. Town of Hudson, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-135-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   SJC-11816   JOHN W. MURRAY  vs.  TOWN OF HUDSON & others.[1]       Worcester.     April 9, 2015. – August 3, 2015.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Municipal Corporations, Liability for tort, Parks, Notice to municipality, Governmental immunity.  Negligence, Municipality, One owning or controlling real estate, Athletics.  Massachusetts Tort Claims Act.  Parks and Parkways.  Governmental Immunity.  Notice, Claim under Massachusetts Tort Claims Act.  Practice, Civil, Presentment of claim under Massachusetts Tort Claims Act.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on April 24, 2013.   The case was heard by John S. McCann, J., on a motion for summary judgment.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Brian W. Murray for the plaintiff. John J. Davis for town of Hudson. Charlotte E. Glinka, Thomas R. Murphy, Elizabeth S. Dillon, & John A. Finbury, for Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     GANTS, C.J.  During a varsity baseball game between two high school teams at a public park in the town of Hudson (town), the plaintiff, a ballplayer with the visiting team, seriously injured his knee while warming up in the bullpen.  The plaintiff filed suit in the Superior Court against the town under the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act, G. L. c. 258 (act), alleging that his injury was caused by the town’s negligence and its wanton and reckless conduct in allowing the visiting team to use a dangerous bullpen.  The judge allowed the town’s motion for summary judgment, concluding that the evidence did not support a finding of wanton or reckless conduct, and that the plaintiff’s negligence claim was barred by the recreational use statute, G. L. c. 21, § 17C, where the injury occurred on a baseball field owned by the town that it allowed the public to use without a fee, and where the town had no “special relationship” with the plaintiff because he was a student from a visiting high school rather than the town’s own high school.  We conclude that the town could be found liable for negligence despite the recreational use statute because, where a town’s school invites another town’s school to play an athletic match on a town field, the town owes the visiting student-athletes the same duty to provide a […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 3, 2015 at 5:18 pm

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