Jim Rudolph, managing partner of Rudolph Friedmann LLP, has been included in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the Construction Law practice area. With this distinction, Jim ranks in the top five percent of private practice attorneys nationwide.
by Mark Taylor Rumson, Esq.
An old adage that hardy New Englanders have grown up hearing holds that if you do not like the weather conditions around here, “just wait a day or two and they will change.” A recently issued Massachusetts Superior Court decision has called into question a legal doctrine that has long shielded premises owners from liability in wet weather-associated slip-and-fall cases. Slip-and-fall cases are more prevalent than ever and if, as some in the legal community believe, this recent decision signals a coming end to the “transitory water” doctrine, it could generate future litigation-related headaches and expenses for Massachusetts business owners and operators.
This case involves a dispute between a borrower, a purported lender and the purported lender’s funder regarding a commercial loan, and the aftermath caused by the borrower’s default on the loan. The borrower brought claims against the purported lender and the lender’s funder, for unfair business practices and violation of the Massachusetts anti-usury statute. RF partner Jon Friedmann represented the purported lender in a jury-waived trial. There were also issues regarding whether the purported lender was so controlled by the funder of the loan that the funder be held liable.
The title is a play on my favorite television show “Maine Cabin Masters.” There is a clip shown at the beginning of the show, where Chase, the fearless leader, is sitting on a large rock and he yells out “Cabin Masters Unite!” as if to summon his workers from the Maine woods. I am not sure why some of us are addicted to home improvement shows, maybe it is our Yankee ingenuity, but whatever the reason, we are hooked and Maine Cabin Masters in particular, has it down. In six to eight weeks, they complete massive renovations of remote Maine cabins, each culminating in a final reveal to the owners who appear to have had little input in the process. As great as the renovation is, I am left wondering: did the price include materials and labor, did the contractor have workers’ compensation, were there any change orders?
Condo Unit Owner Not Responsible for Special Assessment
Bobby Rudolph obtained a unanimous decision from the Massachusetts Court of Appeals affirming judgment in favor of RF’s client, a condominium owner, who was improperly assessed a portion of the cost to demolish and rebuild the condominium building’s parking garage. The parking garage, located behind the building, shared one common wall with the condominium’s common area trash room, which was also demolished as part of the project.