Posts tagged "State’s"

McLaughlin, et al. v. American States Insurance Company (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-099-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   15-P-729                                        Appeals Court   DANIEL McLAUGHLIN & another[1]  vs.  AMERICAN STATES INSURANCE COMPANY.     No. 15-P-729.   Middlesex.     May 19, 2016. – August 12, 2016.   Present:  Kafker, C.J., Cohen, & Green, JJ.     Consumer Protection Act, Insurance, Offer of settlement, Unfair act or practice, Attorney’s fees, Damages.  Insurance, Settlement of claim, Unfair act or practice.  Damages, Attorney’s fees.  Practice, Civil, Attorney’s fees.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on February 21, 2008.   The case was heard by Paul D. Wilson, J.     John F. Brosnan (James E. Harvey, Jr. with him) for the defendant. Matthew N. Kane for the plaintiffs.     GREEN, J.  After the well installed by Shaun Harrington began pumping salt water through the plaintiffs’ (McLaughlins) irrigation system, causing extensive damage to their landscaping, the McLaughlins sought recovery from Harrington and his insurer, the defendant, American States Insurance Company (ASIC).  Both denied liability, and the McLaughlins eventually filed an action against Harrington and two others.[2]  After the McLaughlins obtained a judgment in their favor against Harrington, they commenced this action against ASIC, claiming unfair insurance settlement practices.  A judge of the Superior Court entered judgment against ASIC, and awarded the McLaughlins damages based on the legal expenses they incurred in prosecuting their suit against Harrington, but declined to award multiple damages as permitted by the statute.  See G. L. c. 93A, § 9(3).  On the parties’ cross appeals, we conclude that the judge correctly determined that ASIC failed to conduct a reasonable investigation of the McLaughlins’ claim, and that it failed to make a reasonable offer of settlement after liability of its insured became reasonably clear.  We also discern no error of law or abuse of discretion by the judge in his refusal to award the McLaughlins multiple damages.  However, we conclude that the judge erred in his failure to award the McLaughlins damages based on the loss of use of the funds ASIC should have offered in settlement once Harrington’s liability became reasonably clear. Background.  We summarize the written findings of fact entered by the judge in his detailed and thorough memoranda of decision.[3] In 2003, Assurance was nearing completion of construction of a home for the McLaughlins in Osterville.  The home is on a peninsula, surrounded on three sides by salt water bodies connected to Nantucket […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 13, 2016 at 5:43 am

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

Winbrook Communications Services, Inc., et al. v. United States Liability Insurance Company (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-068-16)

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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   15-P-401                                        Appeals Court   WINBROOK COMMUNICATION SERVICES, INC., & others[1]  vs.  UNITED STATES LIABILITY INSURANCE COMPANY. No. 15-P-401. Suffolk.     March 8, 2016. – June 14, 2016.   Present:  Hanlon, Sullivan, & Massing, JJ. Practice, Civil, Default, Summary judgment.  Insurance, Coverage, Insurer’s obligation to defend, Construction of policy.  Contract, Insurance, Performance and breach.  Damages, Negligent misrepresentation.     Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on December 20, 2011.   The case was heard by Geraldine S. Hines, J., on a motion for summary judgment, and a motion for reconsideration and a second motion for summary judgment were heard by Bonnie H. MacLeod, J.     Eric F. Eisenberg for the plaintiffs. John B. DiSciullo for the defendant.      SULLIVAN, J.  In this insurance coverage dispute we consider whether the factual record on cross motions for summary judgment is adequate to permit either party to establish entitlement to judgment as matter of law.  Plaintiff Winbrook Communication Services, Inc. (Winbrook[2]), appeals from a summary judgment declaring that the defendant, United States Liability Insurance Company (USLIC), had no obligation under a directors and officers liability policy to pay a judgment obtained by Winbrook against USLIC’s insureds, DeSales Group, LLC (DSG), and William York (collectively, DSG).  We conclude that it was error to grant USLIC’s motion for summary judgment because there remain genuine issues of material fact as to the applicability of the policy’s personal profit exclusion.  More precisely, there is a genuine dispute of material fact whether DSG received any profit, benefit, remuneration, or advantage to which DSG was not legally entitled.  Accordingly, we vacate and remand for further proceedings. Background.  The procedural history of the litigation is both material and undisputed.  Winbrook filed suit against DSG and York on August 24, 2010, alleging that York had made a series of negligent misrepresentations concerning DSG the entity’s financial condition that induced Winbrook to continue to work on the development of a children’s storybook series and associated promotional items.  The series never went to market and Winbrook sued, seeking compensation for work performed. DSG gave notice to USLIC of Winbrook’s claims in advance of suit.  USLIC replied that the policy would not cover the claims.  After suit was filed, Winbrook notified USLIC of the suit and of a pending motion for entry of default.  DSG reportedly told USLIC that it did not intend to […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 15, 2016 at 1:20 am

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

State’s DCR to Get New Leadership

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation will have a new commissioner June 22 when its current commissioner, Ed Lambert, steps down. This week Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Rick Sullivan announced Deputy Commissioner Jack Murray will take over as commissioner once Lambert leaves to become the new vice chancellor for Government Relations and Public Affairs at the University of Massachusetts Boston. “Jack has proven himself a strong leader and tireless advocate for the people who use our parks and other public facilities, and I am thrilled to have him lead this important department,” said Governor Deval Patrick in a statement. “Commissioner Lambert did a tremendous job over the past two years working to restore and better protect our resources for Massachusetts residents and tourists.  I thank him for his service and wish him the best of luck in his new role.” According to the statement, Murray has been deputy commissioner for DCR since 2007, overseeing the commonwealth’s parks operations and their annual $ 75 million budget. Sullivan said Murray “will be a tremendous asset to our team” and thanked Lambert for “his tireless service” in the statement. SOUTH END PATCH: Facebook | Twitter | E-mail Updates South End Patch

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 18, 2013 at 7:55 pm

Categories: Arrests   Tags: ,