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Jul 2011

Christopher Long successfully argued a motion to dismiss and a motion for summary judgment in favor of his two clients in a case alleging negligent supervision of a woman suffering from severe physical and mental impairments. Plaintiff alleged that as a result of the alleged failure to properly supervise her during lunch, she choked on her meal and lost consciousness.  The motion to dismiss was filed on behalf of the first defendant, an educational collaborative, on the grounds that the plaintiff failed to comply with the presentment requirement of the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act.  The plaintiff sought to pierce the corporate veil, arguing that the collaborative and the second defendant, a not for profit corporation, were one and the same entity. Because plaintiff had properly presented the claim to the corporation, she argued that the collaborative had constructive notice of the claim.  The court rejected that argument and allowed the motion to dismiss as to the collaborative.  Subsequently, a motion for summary judgment was filed on behalf of the not for profit corporation on the grounds that the corporation owed no legal duty to the disabled woman.  The plaintiff again argued that there was a question of fact as to the relationship between the two entities and the degree of control the corporation exerted over the collaborative.  The court found that there were no material of facts in dispute and that the not for profit corporation did not owe a legal duty to the claimant. Summary judgment entered in the defendant’s favor as to all counts.

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