Posts tagged "1104913"

Weber v. Coast to Coast Medical, Inc., et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-049-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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       12‑P‑1005                                       Appeals Court   FREDERICK WEBER  vs.  COAST TO COAST MEDICAL, INC., & another.[1]     No. 12‑P‑1005. Bristol.     March 1, 2013.  ‑  April 10, 2013. Present:  Kafker, Vuono, & Fecteau, JJ.     Massachusetts Wage Act.  Labor, Wages, Attorney’s fees.  Practice, Civil, Attorney’s fees, Directed verdict.  Damages, Attorney’s fees.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on September 2, 2009.   The case was tried before Richard T. Moses, J., and an application for attorney’s fees was heard by him.     Kevin M. Considine for the defendants. Maria Mancini Scott for the plaintiff.       FECTEAU, J.  The defendants, Coast to Coast Medical, Inc., and George Blaser, III (collectively, Medical), appeal from a judgment, entered on a Superior Court jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff, Frederick Weber, for commissions “due and payable” in the amount of $ 11,979.27, pursuant to G. L. c. 149, § 148, as appearing in St. 1956, c. 259.[2]  The judge then trebled that amount pursuant to G. L. c. 149, § 150,[3] and judgment entered for $ 35,937.81; in addition to interest and costs, the judge also awarded attorney’s fees of $ 25,000, pursuant to § 150.  Medical’s contention on appeal is that commissions do not constitute “lost wages and other benefits” within the meaning of § 150 so as to trigger the mandatory treble damages provision.  G. L. c. 149, § 150, as appearing in St. 2008, c. 80, § 5.  As we disagree with this view of the statute, we affirm the judgment.   Background.  The jury could have found from the evidence that Weber was employed by Medical as a sales representative from June to November, 2008.  Weber’s compensation was undisputed to include a base salary of $ 40,000 per year, plus commissions.  Medical regularly paid Weber’s base salary, but paid him only a single commission in the amount of about $ 3,100.  After being laid off in November of 2008, Weber demanded Medical pay him his unpaid commissions, but Medical refused. After judgment entered on the jury’s verdict in Weber’s favor, and after an opportunity for the parties to brief the issue of treble damages, the judge determined that the “language of the Wage Act regarding commissions has a broad application and is restricted only to its requirements that commissions be ‘definitely determined’ and ‘due and payable,’” citing Okerman v. VA Software Corp., 69 Mass. App. Ct. 771, […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 10, 2013 at 2:58 pm

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