McGowan & Lavin reports on our recent work for clients:
$1.75 Million Settlement in Automotive Defect Case
Owen McGowan recently resolved a personal injury lawsuit that was initiated in the Massachusetts State Court system several years ago and was transferred into federal multi-district litigation involving the motor vehicle manufacturer. The case involved a motor vehicle accident and severe personal injuries sustained by our Massachusetts client due to a motor vehicle component defect. McGowan & Lavin obtained a settlement in this automotive defect case that totaled $1.75 Million Dollars on behalf of our client. This settlement in the complex area of law often referred to as “uncrashworthy vehicle” cases was the successful result of the firm’s investment in expert analysis that helped prove the defect was the cause of avoidable injuries. We are proud that this settlement sends a strong message about consumer and vehicle safety to the Automotive Industry.
Appeals Court affirms Jury Verdict following Jake Lavin’s Arguments
On October 1, 2018, Jake Lavin argued before the Appeals Court, on issues raised by the Plaintiff as to the propriety of certain jury instructions that were given by the Superior Court in a matter where McGowan & Lavin had obtained a defense verdict for a Plaintiff/Homeowner when a roofing subcontractor that was not wearing proper fall protection fell from a roof in Revere, Massachusetts and sustained injuries. The Appeals Court affirmed the judgment on jury verdict on February 28, 2019 for the Defendant homeowners.
The Application of the Statute of Repose was clarified in a decision that barred late claims advanced against our client (door installation subcontractor)
On February 14, 2019, the Plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit sought to amend his complaint to add our client, a commercial door installer that performed an installation at an industrial complex in 2011, to a lawsuit that arose from alleged personal injuries caused when a door closing device detached and struck him. McGowan & Lavin opposed the amendment as futile and time barred.
On March 28, 2019, Christopher Greeley (who has held an unrestricted construction supervisors license since 2003) argued in the Superior Court that any cause of action arising out of the installation of the door or door closing device by our client (subcontractor) in 2011 was barred by the six-year statute of repose. G. L. c. 260, § 2B, and that the relation back doctrine, applicable to general statutes of limitations, G. L. c. 231, §51, is not applicable to the statute of repose. The Plaintiff argued that that because the door was a “standard commercial” door and the door closing device came with installation instructions, there was nothing special about the installation to suggest individualized expertise, when in reality the contractor was a skilled and specialized subcontractor retained specifically to install doors. Persuasive authority was provided by both sides.
On April 3, 2019, the Superior Court issues a seven-page decision denying the proposed amendment to add the contractor, distinguishing the cases that were offered by the Plaintiff. The court held that the installation of the mass produced commercial door and door closing device by the subcontractor in 2011 was nonetheless an improvement for purposes of the statute of repose, as it was a betterment of real property designed to make the property more useful, as distinguished from an ordinary repair, and further indicated that the proposed amended complaint did not plausibly suggest a viable cause of action against the contractor, and the plaintiffs would stand no reasonable expectation of proving at trial that the installation of the commercial door and closing device, as part of a much larger improvements project, would not be construed as an improvement within the meaning of the statute of repose.
A copy of the decision is attached.