It’s Monday morning and you log onto Facebook. You expect to see the usual litany of pet pictures, bland status updates and requests for where to find the best Chinese food in your community. Instead, there is a post on the community “Moms” page with over 57 comments. There is a rumor of a threat at the high school and the school is only saying that it’s “not credible.”
In the Supreme Judicial Court case of James B. Nutter & Company vs. Estate of Murphy, et. al. (and two consolidated cases) dated January 18, 2018, the SJC had to decide if the language in a reverse mortgage incorporated the statutory power of sale as required by M.G.L c. 183, sec. 21 allowing the lender to foreclose on the mortgage.
In a recent decision out of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, a New York-based employer was held subject to suit for unpaid wages in Massachusetts because it allowed an employee to work from home in Massachusetts. The facts of the case serve as an important reminder to employers that they may be subject to suit in any state where they allow their employees to work from home remotely.
Where the plaintiff employee in Yarph v. Bowden Hospitality Newton LLC, et al. sought to add both the limited liability company that gave a hotel owner a license to do business and the LLC’s parent company to a lawsuit claiming that the hotel violated the Massachusetts Tips Act, the Business Litigation Session of Suffolk Superior Court ruled that the motion to add the franchisor defendants should be dismissed. The Court’s decision was based on the fact that neither entity had any control over or received any revenue from the alleged violation of the Massachusetts Tips Act.
In a recent case of first impression, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) answered certified questions presented by the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The questions focused on whether an insurer’s duty to defend (play defense) requires the insurer to pay for legal counsel to prosecute an affirmative counterclaim (play offense) on behalf of the insured. A divided SJC ruled that the insurer does not have to prosecute the insured’s counterclaim. The case is Mount Vernon Fire Insurance Company v. Visionaid, No. SJC-12142 (June 22, 2017).