Posts tagged "Sheriff"

Modica v. Sheriff of Suffolk County, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-079-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-12201   GEORGE MODICA  vs.  SHERIFF OF SUFFOLK COUNTY & others.[1]       Suffolk.     January 5, 2017. – May 15, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Hines, Gaziano, Lowy, & Budd, JJ.     Correction Officer.  Words, “Bodily injury.”       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on October 24, 2014.   The case was heard by Douglas H. Wilkins, J., on motions for summary judgment.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Noah A. Winkeller for the plaintiff. Allen H. Forbes, Special Assistant Attorney General, for the defendants.          BUDD, J.  Through G. L. c. 126, § 18A, and G. L. c. 30, § 58, the Legislature has afforded correction officers additional compensation to close the gap between workers’ compensation benefits and an employee’s salary if the employee sustains bodily injury as a result of inmate violence during the course of his or her duties.  The plaintiff, George Modica, a correction officer in the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, sued the defendants — the sheriff of Suffolk County, the Suffolk County sheriff’s department, and the Commonwealth — to obtain compensation under the statutes.  At issue in this case is the meaning of “bodily injury” as the term is used in the two statutes.  We conclude that bodily injury is that which results in physical injury; because the defendant has not suffered such an injury, he does not qualify for compensation under the statute. Background.  The pertinent facts, taken from the record, are undisputed.  As a result of breaking up inmate fights in March and April of 2010, the plaintiff began to experience an accelerated heart rate (sinus tachycardia) accompanied by light-headedness and difficulty breathing. The defendants initially paid workers’ compensation benefits voluntarily but soon after discontinued them.  The plaintiff filed a claim for further workers’ compensation benefits and, insofar as relevant here, the plaintiff underwent two independent medical examinations.  Both doctors concurred that the defendant’s symptoms were a physiological response to stress, that the sinus tachycardia was neither the result nor the cause of any physical harm, and that there was no evidence of structural heart disease.[2] The parties eventually settled the plaintiff’s workers’ compensation claim, stipulating that the plaintiff’s injury was a physiological response to his involvement in inmate altercations.  The plaintiff thereafter applied for […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 15, 2017 at 5:26 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , ,

Flaherty v. Sheriff of Suffolk County, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-023-15)

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   14-P-778                                        Appeals Court   GEORGE H. FLAHERTY  vs.  SHERIFF OF SUFFOLK COUNTY & another.[1] No. 14-P-778. Suffolk.     December 9, 2014. – March 16, 2015.   Present:  Cohen, Fecteau, & Massing, JJ.     Sheriff.  Correction Officer.  Public Employment, Assault pay benefits, Worker’s compensation, Retirement.  Workers’ Compensation Act, Public employee.  Limitations, Statute of.  Commonwealth, Claim against.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on November 15, 2010.   The case was heard by Linda E. Giles, J., on motions for summary judgment.     Christopher G. Perillo for the defendants. Arinda R. Brooks for the plaintiff.     MASSING, J.  The defendants, the sheriff of Suffolk County and the Suffolk County sheriff’s department (collectively referred to as the Commonwealth[2]), appeal from a judgment of the Superior Court finding the Commonwealth liable for assault pay owed to the plaintiff, George H. Flaherty, under G. L. c. 126, § 18A (sometimes referred to as the statute).  The Commonwealth contends (1) that Flaherty’s entitlement to assault pay terminated when he reached the mandatory age of retirement for correction officers and became entitled to superannuation retirement benefits and (2) that his action is barred by the statute of limitations.  The Superior Court judge rejected both contentions.  We agree with the judge’s conclusion that Flaherty was entitled to assault pay as long as he was receiving workers’ compensation benefits, and that his action is not time barred, but we agree with the Commonwealth that the applicable statute of limitations is G. L. c. 260, § 3A, precluding Flaherty from recovering payments that became due more than three years before he filed his complaint. Background.  While working as a Suffolk County correction officer in January, 2006, Flaherty was injured as a result of prisoner violence.  An administrative judge of the Department of Industrial Accidents found that he was partially disabled and awarded him workers’ compensation benefits beginning January 4, 2006.  He continued to receive workers’ compensation benefits until September 1, 2010, the effective date of a lump sum settlement agreement that ended his entitlement to those benefits.  On November 15, 2010, Flaherty filed an action in the Superior Court claiming that the Commonwealth was required by G. L. c. 126, § 18A, to compensate him with assault pay during the period he received workers’ compensation benefits.  The Commonwealth did not dispute that Flaherty was entitled to assault pay but argued that his superannuation […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 16, 2015 at 5:46 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , ,

Sheriff of Suffolk County v. Jail Officers and Employees of Suffolk County (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-109-13)

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‑11229   SHERIFF OF SUFFOLK COUNTY  vs.  JAIL OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF SUFFOLK COUNTY.[1]     Suffolk.     February 4, 2013.  ‑  June 14, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.   Sheriff.  Public Employment, Collective bargaining, Termination.  Labor, Public employment, Collective bargaining.  Arbitration, Collective bargaining, Award.  Damages, Back pay, Mitigation, Interest.  Interest.  Governmental Immunity.  Waiver.  Judgment, Enforcement, Interest.  Practice, Civil, Interest, Waiver.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on April 24, 2001.   Following review by this court, 451 Mass. 698 (2008), a complaint for contempt, filed on August 24, 2009, was heard by John C. Cratsley, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Timothy J. Casey, Assistant Attorney General, for the plaintiff.   John M. Becker for the defendant.   CORDY, J.  This appeal arises from an action in the Superior Court to enforce an arbitrator’s award of back pay to a jail officer employed and wrongfully discharged by the sheriff of Suffolk County (sheriff).  The sheriff appeals from the judge’s ruling that the jail officer, Joseph Upton, had no duty to mitigate his damages by seeking comparable employment.  The Jail Officers and Employees of Suffolk County (union), on behalf of Upton, cross appeals from the judge’s decision not to assess statutory postjudgment interest on the arbitrator’s award.  Although we conclude that Upton did have a duty to mitigate his damages, we affirm the judgment on the grounds that the sheriff waived this issue by failing to raise it earlier in the proceedings, and that, regardless, she failed to meet her burden of proof on the issue.[2]  We also affirm the judge’s decision not to assess postjudgment interest on sovereign immunity grounds.   1.  Background.  This appeal represents the putative final chapter in a case that, at the time of an earlier decision in 2008, already had a “long and tortuous procedural history.”  Sheriff of Suffolk County v. Jail Officers & Employees of Suffolk County, 451 Mass. 698, 699 (2008) (Sheriff of Suffolk County I).  On December 29, 1999, Upton was discharged from his position as a jail officer at the Nashua Street jail in Boston (jail) following an incident in which Upton allegedly “filed untimely and then false reports” concerning an assault of an inmate that he […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 14, 2013 at 2:47 pm

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