Posts tagged "Auto"

State Road Auto Sales, Inc. v. Massachusetts Division of Banks (Lawyers Weekly No. 09-013-18)

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss. SUPERIOR COURT. 1784CV04041-BLS2 ____________________ STATE ROAD AUTO SALES, INC. v. MASSACHUSETTS DIVISION OF BANKS ____________________ MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR A PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION State Road Auto Sales, Inc., seeks a preliminary injunction that would bar the Massachusetts Division of Banks from completing an ongoing adjudicatory hearing. The Division brought administrative charges asserting that State Road violated G.L. c. 255B, which governs retail installment sales of motor vehicles, by acting as a “motor vehicle sales finance company” without a license and by entering into illegal motor vehicle installment sales with individual consumers. The Legislature authorized the Commissioner of Banks to implement and enforce c. 255B. State Road is entitled to contest those charges through an evidentiary proceeding before a Division hearing officer. State Road argues that the Division’s administrative charges and adjudicatory proceeding are barred by State Road’s recent settlement of a class action brought on behalf of consumers who entered into motor vehicle leases with State Road that were in effect after October 21, 2013, and were signed before January 1, 2016. More specifically, State Road argues that the order approving the class action settlement deprived the Division of subject matter jurisdiction to decide the pending administrative charges and, in the alternative, that the prior settlement has collateral estoppel or issue preclusive effect that would bar the Division from exercising its jurisdiction over State Road. The Court concludes that State Road is not entitled to preliminary injunctive relief because it has failed to exhaust its administrative remedies and therefore is not likely to succeed on the merits of its claims. Cf. Fordyce v. Town of Hanover, 457 Mass. 248, 266 (2010) (vacating preliminary injunction because plaintiffs were “unlikely to succeed on the merits”). The Division of Banks has already began an enforcement action against State Road, those adjudicatory proceedings are still pending, and the determination of – 2 – whether the Division can prosecute and decide the administrative charges turns on disputed issues of fact and not pure issues of law. Under these circumstances, State Road must exhaust its administrative remedies at the Division before seeking to challenge the Division’s exercise of jurisdiction over State Road in court. See Wilczewski v. Commissioner of the Dept. of Envtl. Quality Eng’g, 404 Mass. 787, 793-794 (1989) (affirming dismissal of challenge to agency’s jurisdiction in pending matter); Gill v. Board of Reg. of Psychologists, 399 Mass. 724, 728 (1987) (ordering dismissal of action); East Chop Tennis Club v. Massachusetts Comm’n Against Discrim., 364 Mass. 444, 451 (1973) (vacating decree entered by Superior Court and ordering dismissal of action); Reliance Ins. Co. v. Commissioner of Ins., 31 Mass. App. Ct. 581, 585 (1991) (affirming dismissal of action). […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 1, 2018 at 9:05 am

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Adams v. Congress Auto Insurance Agency, Inc. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-177-16)

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;   15-P-452                                        Appeals Court   MARK ADAMS  vs.  CONGRESS AUTO INSURANCE AGENCY, INC.     No. 15-P-452.   Middlesex.     March 10, 2016. – December 21, 2016.   Present:  Kafker, C.J., Vuono, & Henry, JJ.     Negligence, Insurance company, Employer, Foreseeability of harm, Causation, Retention of employee, Entrustment, Emotional distress.  Damages, Emotional distress.  Consumer Protection Act, Responsibility of employer.  Practice, Civil, Summary judgment, Motion to amend.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on April 16, 2013.   Motions for summary judgment and to amend the complaint were heard by Peter B. Krupp, J.     Henry P. Sorett for the plaintiff. Jeffrey S. Robbins for the defendant.     HENRY, J.  This case arose from an employee’s improper use of confidential information accessed through her workplace computer.  The employee gave that information to her boy friend, who used it to intimidate a witness, Mark Adams.  Adams brought this action against the employer, Congress Auto Insurance Agency, Inc. (Congress Agency or agency).  A Superior Court judge dismissed four of his five claims.  The case proceeded to discovery on the remaining claim against the agency that alleged negligent failure to safeguard Adams’s personal information.  The same judge subsequently granted the agency’s motion for summary judgment on the remaining count and in the same memorandum and order denied Adams’s motion to amend his complaint to reinstate the dismissed claims and to add a claim for violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2721-2725.  Adams appealed.  We affirm in part and reverse in part. Summary judgment.  “The standard of review of a grant of summary judgment is whether, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, all material facts have been established and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”  Lev v. Beverly Enterprises-Massachusetts, Inc., 457 Mass. 234, 237 (2010) (Lev), quoting from Cargill, Inc. v. Beaver Coal & Oil Co., 424 Mass. 356, 358 (1997).  The burden rests on the defendant, as the moving party, to affirmatively demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact on every relevant issue.  Ibid. Facts.  Viewed in the light most favorable to Adams, as required at this stage of the proceedings, the summary judgment record discloses the following facts.  The Congress Agency hired Elizabeth Burgos in August, 2003, as a customer service representative, promoting her to […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - December 21, 2016 at 4:16 pm

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Auto Flat Car Crushers, Inc. v. Hanover Insurance Company (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-170-14)

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-11477   AUTO FLAT CAR CRUSHERS, INC.  vs.  HANOVER INSURANCE COMPANY.       Norfolk.     May 5, 2014. – October 15, 2014.   Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.[1]     Insurance, Insurer’s obligation to defend, Coverage.  Consumer Protection Act, Insurance, Availability of remedy, Damages, Unfair or deceptive act.  Contract, Insurance, Performance and breach, Damages, Indemnity.  Damages, Consumer protection case, Breach of contract.  Indemnity.  Declaratory Relief.  Environment, Environmental cleanup costs.     Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on May 20, 2009.   A motion for partial summary judgment was heard by E. Susan Garsh, J.; motions for partial summary judgment were heard by Elizabeth B. Donovan, J.; a motion for summary judgment on the remaining issue was heard by Raymond P. Veary, Jr., J.; and the case was reported to the Appeals Court by Kenneth J. Fishman, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Donald V. Jernberg (John J. McMaster with him) for the plaintiff. Aaron R. White for the defendant. The following submitted briefs for amici curiae: John P. Ryan & Harry A. Pierce for Massachusetts Insurance Federation, Inc. Jonathan M. Feigenbaum for United Policyholders. J. Michael Conley, Hans R. Hailey, Thomas R. Murphy, & Danielle M. Spang for Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys.     LENK, J.  The plaintiff’s insurer refused to defend or to indemnify the plaintiff in connection with an environmental dispute involving the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  Several years later, the plaintiff, having by then funded both its own defense and the environmental remediation ordered, brought suit against the insurer, alleging breach of contract and seeking declaratory relief; on a motion for partial summary judgment, the plaintiff obtained declaratory relief establishing the insurer’s duty to defend.  The plaintiff then amended its complaint to assert a claim under G. L. c. 93A, § 11 (§ 11), arising out of the insurer’s failure to defend; the insurer did not avail itself of the statutory mechanism permitting a defendant to limit its liability to single damages by tendering with its answer a written offer of settlement.  See G. L. c. 93A, § 11, fifth par.  Thereafter, and while reserving its rights as to its pending claims, the plaintiff accepted reimbursement from the insurer, with interest, for its expenses in litigating and resolving the DEP matter.  It […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 15, 2014 at 4:32 pm

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