Posts tagged "Lexington"

Great Divide Insurance Company v. Lexington Insurance Company (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-172-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-12164   GREAT DIVIDE INSURANCE COMPANY  vs.  LEXINGTON INSURANCE COMPANY.       Suffolk.     March 6, 2017. – November 1, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Hines, Gaziano, Lowy, & Budd, JJ.[1]     Motor Vehicle, Insurance.  Insurance, Motor vehicle insurance, Excess liability insurance.       Certification of a question of law to the Supreme Judicial Court by the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.     Adam R. Doherty (Thomas M. Elcock also present) for the plaintiff. Kimberly A. Hartman, of Illinois, for the defendant.     GAZIANO, J.  In this case we answer a certified question from the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts concerning the priority of coverage of two automobile insurance policies that both covered a single motor vehicle accident.  The accident occurred when an employee of a refuse company, driving a garbage truck owned by another company, struck and killed a bicyclist.  The policies were issued respectively by the plaintiff and defendant insurers to the employer of the driver and the company that owned the truck.[2]  A portion of the loss was covered by a primary insurance policy from a third insurance company, not a party here.  The two policies at issue were triggered, according to the language in each policy, after the exhaustion of the primary policy.  Although the relevant language of the policies differs, each policy states that it provides “excess” coverage[3] (in the circumstances here) and each policy also contains an “other insurance” clause.[4]  As the Federal District Court judge noted in his certification order, the circumstances here involve a question of first impression, because one of the two policies is a “hybrid” policy that provides primary coverage for an incident where its insured is driving a vehicle owned by the insured, and excess coverage for an accident where its insured is the driver but is driving a vehicle owned by someone else.  The other policy is a “true . . . umbrella” policy that provides only excess coverage where other coverage has been exhausted.  For the reasons that follow, we conclude that both excess policies cover the accident equally, after exhaustion of the underlying primary policy, to the extent of their respective policy limits. Background and procedural history.  The undisputed facts are drawn from the decision of the Federal District Court judge certifying the question to this […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - November 1, 2017 at 4:07 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , ,

School Committee of Lexington v. Zagaeski (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-125-14)

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-11536   SCHOOL COMMITTEE OF LEXINGTON  vs.  MARK ZAGAESKI. Middlesex.      March 4, 2014. – July 14, 2014. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ. Arbitration, Judicial review, Authority of arbitrator, Award, School committee.  Education Reform Act.  Statute, Construction. School and School Committee, Arbitration, Termination of employment.  Public Employment, Termination.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on April 27, 2012.   Motions to vacate and to affirm an arbitration award were heard by Bruce R. Henry, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     Geoffrey R. Bok (Colby C. Brunt with him) for the plaintiff. Daniel S. O’Connor (Laura Elkayam with him) for the defendant. Stephen J. Finnegan & Michael J. Long, for Massachusetts Association of School Commitees, Inc. & another, amici curiae, submitted a brief.   Ira Fader for Massachusetts Teachers Association, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.          SPINA, J.  In this case, the plaintiff, the school committee of Lexington (school committee), appealed a decision by a Superior Court judge confirming an arbitrator’s award reinstating a teacher, Mark Zagaeski, after the school district superintendent had terminated his employment for conduct unbecoming a teacher.  We granted the plaintiff’s application for direct appellate review.  This case presents an issue left unresolved by this court in School Dist. of Beverly v. Geller, 435 Mass. 223 (2001).  We must determine the scope of authority granted to an arbitrator by G. L. c. 71, § 42 (teacher dismissal statute), to reinstate a teacher who was dismissed for conduct that the arbitrator found constituted, at least nominally, a valid basis for dismissal.[1] We conclude that in light of the stated purposes of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 (Reform Act or Act), of which the teacher dismissal statute is a part, the arbitrator exceeded the scope of his authority by awarding reinstatement of Zagaeski on the basis of the “best interests of the pupils” in the district, despite having found that the school district carried its burden to show facts amounting to conduct unbecoming a teacher.  See G. L. c. 69, § 1, as appearing in St. 1993, c. 71, § 27; G. L. c. 71, § 42.  We reverse the decision of the Superior Court judge and vacate the arbitration award.[2] 1.  Background.  a.  Facts.[3]  Zagaeski’s dismissal from his position at the Lexington public schools […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 14, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , ,