Posts tagged "Gentile"

Commerce Insurance Co., Inc. v. Gentile, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-156-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-11706   COMMERCE INSURANCE CO., INC.  vs.  VITTORIO GENTILE & others.[1]     September 16, 2015. Insurance, Motor vehicle insurance, Coverage, Misrepresentation.  Motor Vehicle, Insurance, Permission to operate.  Contract, Insurance.  Practice, Civil, Summary judgment.        This case concerns the obligation of Commerce Insurance Company (Commerce) to pay optional bodily injury benefits under a standard Massachusetts automobile insurance policy.  The defendants Vittorio and Lydia Gentile (Gentiles) were the policyholders, and their grandson Vittorio Gentile, Jr. (Junior), was an “excluded operator” under the policy.  While operating one of the Gentiles’ vehicles covered by the policy, Junior caused an accident that seriously injured Douglas and Joseph Homsi (Homsis).[2],[3]  Commerce sought a judgment declaring that the Gentiles’ violation of the operator exclusion form relieved it of any duty to pay the Homsis under the optional bodily injury provisions of the insurance contract.[4]  A Superior Court judge ruled that the Gentiles had violated their duty of “continuing representation” (as to whether Junior was in fact operating their vehicles), and therefore, Commerce was relieved of its duty to pay the optional coverage for the Homsis’ injuries.  The Appeals Court affirmed the judgment on that basis and on the basis that the Gentiles had committed a breach of the insurance contract.  Commerce Ins. Co. v. Gentile, 85 Mass. App. Ct. 67 (2014).  We granted further appellate review. Facts.  The Gentiles purchased through Commerce the standard Massachusetts automobile insurance policy, seventh edition, which was approved by the Commissioner of Insurance (commissioner).  The policy insured both the Gentiles and their vehicles.  A section of the policy titled “Our Agreement” provided that “[t]his policy is a legal contract under Massachusetts law.”  It stated further that “[o]ur contract consists of this policy, the Coverage Selections Page, any endorsements agreed upon, and your application for insurance.”  The policy included a separate operator exclusion form, which also was approved by the commissioner.   In 2004, after receiving advice from the insurance agent that their premium would be significantly higher if Junior operated their vehicles, Lydia, as the “[p]olicyholder”, and Junior as the “[e]xcluded [o]perator” both executed the operator exclusion form.  The form stated that Junior would not operate the Gentiles’ insured vehicles:  “It is agreed that the person named below [i.e., Junior] will not operate the vehicle(s) described below, or any replacement thereof, under any circumstances whatsoever.”  Another provision of the form allowed […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 16, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , ,

Commerce Insurance Co., Inc. v. Gentile, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-025-14)

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         12‑P‑1169                                       Appeals Court   COMMERCE INSURANCE CO., INC.  vs.  VITTORIO GENTILE & others.[1]     No. 12‑P‑1169. Norfolk.     September 11, 2013.  ‑  March 13, 2014. Present:  Kantrowitz, Sikora, & Hines, JJ.   Insurance, Motor vehicle insurance, Coverage, Misrepresentation.  Motor Vehicle, Insurance, Permission to operate.  Contract, Insurance.  Practice, Civil, Summary judgment.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on November 7, 2007.   A motion for summary judgment was heard by E. Susan Garsh, J., and the entry of final judgment was ordered by Patrick F. Brady, J.     Brian P. Burke for Janice Silverio & another. Richard R. Eurich (John F. Hurley, Jr., with him) for the plaintiff.     SIKORA, J.  Commerce Insurance Company (Commerce) brought this action in Superior Court for a declaratory judgment of its obligation to pay substantial damages under the optional bodily injury provision of a standard Massachusetts motor vehicle policy.  Defendants Vittorio and Lydia Gentile are the policyholders.  The defendant Vittorio Gentile, Jr. (Junior), is their grandson.  Defendants Joseph Homsi and Janice Silverio, as guardian of Douglas Homsi, by separate suit have achieved verdicts and resulting judgments of substantial compensatory damages for severe personal injuries against Vittorio, Lydia, and Junior, by reason of Junior’s negligent operation of his grandparents’ vehicle and by reason, inter alia, of the negligent failure of Lydia and Vittorio to prevent Junior’s use of that vehicle. At the time of the accident on December 10, 2006, an operator exclusion form, drafted by Commerce and signed by Lydia and Junior on December 7, 2004, provided that Junior would not drive any vehicle covered by the Gentiles’ policy.  Junior did operate his grandparents’ vehicle and, according to the verdicts in the separate personal injury litigation, negligently caused devastating injuries to the Homsi brothers. In this litigation Commerce sought a judgment declaring that the Gentiles’ violation of the operator exclusion form relieved the insurer of any duty of indemnification of them under the policy clause for optional bodily injury coverage of $ 500,000.  A judge of the Superior Court concluded that Junior had violated the operator exclusion form as a material representation underlying the issuance of the policy and that Commerce therefore was relieved of its duty of optional coverage for bodily injury caused by their vehicle.  The Homsi parties have appealed.  For the following reasons, […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 15, 2014 at 6:19 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , ,

Commonwealth v. Gentile (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-011-14)

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‑11372   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  CONAN GENTILE. Worcester.     November 7, 2013.  ‑  January 14, 2014. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.   Search and Seizure, Arrest, Warrant, Reasonable suspicion, Consensual entry by police, Fruits of illegal search.  Constitutional Law, Search and seizure, Arrest, Reasonable suspicion.  Evidence, Result of illegal search.  Practice, Criminal, Motion to suppress.  Receiving Stolen Goods.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on August 13, 2010.   A pretrial motion to suppress evidence was heard by James R. Lemire, J., and the cases were tried before Janet Kenton-Walker, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Cathryn A. Neaves for the defendant. Jane A. Sullivan, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.       GANTS, J.  The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and art. 14 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights require that police who enter an individual’s residence to execute an arrest warrant “have a reasonable belief that the location to be searched is the arrestee’s residence, and a reasonable belief that the arrestee is in his residence at the time the arrest warrant is executed.”  Commonwealth v. Silva, 440 Mass. 772, 778 (2004).  See Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573, 603 (1980) (“an arrest warrant founded on probable cause implicitly carries with it the limited authority to enter a dwelling in which the suspect lives where there is reason to believe the suspect is within”).  In Silva, supra at 776-777, we stated that the “reasonable belief” standard is “less exacting than probable cause.”  The issue presented in this case is how much less exacting.  We conclude that a “reasonable belief” requires more than was known here at the time of entry.  Therefore, the entry was unconstitutional under both the Fourth Amendment and art. 14, and the observation and subsequent seizure of the stolen property allegedly received by the defendant in this case should have been suppressed as a fruit of the illegal entry.  Because both of the defendant’s convictions for receipt of stolen property, in violation of G. L. c. 266, § 60, rest entirely on this illegally seized property, we vacate the convictions and remand the case to the Superior Court for entry of an order of dismissal. Background.  We summarize the relevant evidence in the Commonwealth’s […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - January 14, 2014 at 8:03 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,