Apr 10 2017

Courtroom Success 2017-12: Morrison Mahoney Partner Joe Yannetti & Associate Alexandra Gordon

Morrison Mahoney Partner Joe Yannetti and Associate Alexandra Gordon prevailed on a motion for summary judgment in U.S. District Court in Boston on behalf of our client, a multi-national hotel chain. The case stemmed from an accident on a boating trip in Pennsylvania commissioned through one of the hotel chain’s Pennsylvania locations. The plaintiff, a Massachusetts resident, filed suit in Suffolk Superior Court two years and eleven months after the date of loss. After we removed the case to the U.S. District Court on diversity jurisdiction grounds, we conducted limited discovery and moved for summary judgment on the grounds that Pennsylvania’s two-year statute of limitations should apply over Massachusetts’ three-year statute of limitations.

Relying heavily on Nierman v. Hyatt Corp., 441 Mass. 693 (2004), Alex argued before the court that all of the key aspects of the case—location of accident, location of hotel, location of initial medical treatment, location of boat, location of boat operators, etc.—favored applying the Pennsylvania statute of limitations. The plaintiff tried to argue that the fact that she sought treatment in Massachusetts (resulting in medical liens), drove her Massachusetts-registered car to the hotel, and booked the vacation while she was still in Massachusetts, distinguished this case from Nierman and gave Massachusetts a substantial interest in applying its statute of limitations. After taking the matter under advisement, the judge allowed the motion for summary judgment in a lengthy 23-page opinion.

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