Posts tagged "1016116"

Brown v. Office of the Commissioner of Probation (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-161-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-11987   HELEN BROWN  vs.  OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER OF PROBATION.       Suffolk.     March 7, 2016. – October 11, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.[1]     Governmental Immunity.  Commonwealth, Claim against.  Judgment, Interest.  Interest.  Damages, Interest, Punitive, Attorney’s fees.  Practice, Civil, Interest, Costs, Attorney’s fees.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on August 13, 2007.   Following review by the Appeals Court, 84 Mass. App. Ct. 1109 (2013), a motion for postjudgment interest was considered by Paul E. Troy, J., and judgment was entered by him.   After review by the Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court granted leave to obtain further appellate review.     Jonathan J. Margolis (Beth R. Myers with him) for the plaintiff. Sally A. VanderWeele, Assistant Attorney General, for the Office of the Commissioner of Probation. Jamie Goodwin, for Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association & others, amici curiae, submitted a brief.     LENK, J.  In this case, we consider whether sovereign immunity bars a plaintiff who is awarded punitive damages, costs, and attorney’s fees as part of a judgment under G. L. c. 151B, § 9, from recovering postjudgment interest on those awards from a public employer.  The trial judge denied a request by the plaintiff, Helen Brown, for such interest, concluding that sovereign immunity has not been waived with respect to such interest, and judgment was entered accordingly.  A divided panel of the Appeals Court affirmed the judgment, see Brown v. Office of the Commissioner of Probation, 87 Mass. App. Ct. 729, 735 (2015), and we allowed the plaintiff’s application for further appellate review.  Because we conclude that G. L. c. 151B, § 9, does not waive sovereign immunity from liability for postjudgment interest, either expressly or by necessary implication, we affirm.[2] Background.  We recite only those facts necessary for understanding in context the question of law at issue here.  The plaintiff and a colleague sued the defendant, the office of the Commissioner of Probation, for sex discrimination, race discrimination, and retaliation, pursuant to the procedure set forth in G. L. c. 151B, § 9.  On February 9, 2011, a Superior Court jury found for the plaintiff on her retaliation claim,[3] and awarded $ 6,000 in compensatory damages and $ 500,000 in punitive damages.  The award of punitive damages was reduced to $ 108,000 by an order of remittitur.  […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 12, 2016 at 12:24 am

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