Posts tagged "1215516"

Everest National Insurance Company v. Berkeley Place Restaurant Limited Partnership (Lawyers Weekly No. 12-155-16)

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss. SUPERIOR COURT CIVIL ACTION No. 2011-1470 EVEREST NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY vs. BERKELEY PLACE RESTAURANT LIMITED PARTNERSHIP ORDER ON POST-VERDICT ISSUES AND FOR JUDGMENT This action was commenced by Everest National Insurance Company as subrogee of three persons: Timothy J. Barletta (“Timothy”), Barletta Engineering Corporation (“Barletta Corp.”) and Osprey Equipment Corporation (“Osprey”). The action is one for contribution under G.L. c. 231B, § 1(d ). Everest, as insurer for all three persons, paid a settlement amount to a state trooper who was seriously injured in a car accident when he was struck from behind by a car driven by Timothy. Everest asserted in this case that defendant, Berkeley Place Restaurant Limited Partnership, d/b/a Grill 23 (“Grill 23″), is jointly liable to the state trooper as a result of negligently serving Timothy alcohol in the hours before the accident. Following a jury verdict in favor of Everest that determined that Grill 23 is liable as a joint tortfeasor and that the settlement reached by Everest with the state trooper and his wife was reasonable, the parties address two issues: (1) how many tortfeasors bear responsibility for a pro rata share of the settlement, and (2) what amount is Everest entitled to receive as contribution from Grill 23? Both questions involve application of the contribution statute. For the first question, the court must determine whether “if equity requires, the collective liability of some as a group shall constitute a single share.” G.L. 1 c. 231B, § 2(b). The second question is whether, under G.L. c. 231B, §1, Everest may obtain contribution for more than a pro rata share of what it paid in settlement? FACTS On Saturday night, September 27, 2008, Timothy attended a private birthday party at the Grill 23 restaurant in Boston. The person being celebrated was Timothy’s sister-in-law, Laura Barletta, and the person throwing the party was her husband, Timothy’s brother, Vincent Barletta. Approximately 40 people attended the party and the guests were, generally, friends and family of Laura Barletta. The party was held in a function room, separate from the rest of the restaurant. There was evidence before the jury sufficient to show that at the party Timothy was served alcohol after it had been recognized by the Grill 23 manager on duty that Timothy was visibly intoxicated. Timothy left the party with his girlfriend, got into a motor vehicle, and drove west on the Mass Pike. Several minutes later, Timothy, while operating under the influence of alcohol, smashed into the rear of a state police vehicle parked on the edge of the Pike to assist a stopped car. State Trooper Christopher Martin was inside the state police vehicle. As a result of the […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - December 6, 2016 at 12:36 am

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