Posts tagged "Haverhill"

Wilkins v. City of Haverhill (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-079-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;     SJC‑11417   MICHELLE WILKINS  vs.  CITY OF HAVERHILL. Essex.     January 9, 2014.  ‑  May 9, 2014. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.   Negligence, One owning or controlling real estate, Snow and ice, School.  Immunity from Suit.  Snow and Ice.  School and School Committee.  Words, “The public.”       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on September 14, 2011.   The case was heard by Robert A. Cornetta, J., on a motion for summary judgment.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     John A. Finbury (Gina T. Dussi with him) for the plaintiff. John J. Davis (Jason W. Crotty with him) for the defendant. Stephen J. Finnegan, for Massachusetts Association of School Committees, Inc., amicus curiae, submitted a brief. J. Michael Conley, Thomas R. Murphy, Alex G. Philipson, & Benjamin R. Zimmerman, for Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.       DUFFLY, J.  Michelle Wilkins was injured when she slipped and fell on ice that had accumulated on the walkway of a public school owned and operated by the city of Haverhill (city).  At the time of the fall, early in the evening of February 10, 2011, Wilkins was on the city’s premises to attend a scheduled parent-teacher conference.  Wilkins filed a complaint in the Superior Court against the city alleging that its negligence caused her injuries.  In its motion for summary judgment, the city raised as a defense G. L. c. 21, § 17C, which bars claims of ordinary negligence against a landowner, including a government entity, that has opened its land to the public for recreational, educational, or other enumerated purposes, without charging a fee.  A Superior Court judge allowed the city’s motion; Wilkins appealed, and we allowed her application for direct appellate review.  Because we conclude that the limitation on liability provided by G. L. c. 21, § 17C, extends solely to land open to the general public, and during the relevant time the school was open only to a discrete group and not to the general public, we reverse. Discussion.  a.  Standard of review.  “Summary judgment is appropriate where there are no genuine issues of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”  HipSaver, Inc. v. Kiel, 464 Mass. 517, 522 (2013).  See Mass. R. Civ. […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 9, 2014 at 2:56 pm

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