Partial Summary Judgment for Defendant on Claims of Conversion and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
May 31, 2021
Chris Callanan obtained partial summary judgment in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts on claims of conversion and intentional infliction of emotional distress brought against Callanan’s client. Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor held that an email exchange between the parties that set out terms of a financial separation created an issue of fact as to the ownership of funds in a joint bank account. He separately found in favor of the defendant as to plaintiff’s claims to life insurance proceeds paid to the defendant and as to plaintiff’s claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress, dismissing both claims.
Read Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s front-page coverage of the decision here.
Summary Judgment Defeated in De Facto Merger Claim
April 9, 2021
Chris Callanan successfully defeated a corporate defendant’s motion for summary judgment seeking to dismiss a claim of corporate successor liability under a de facto merger theory in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts before Judge Leo T. Sorokin. Callanan’s client sought to enforce a judgment against a company that had engaged in a series of dealings with an individual who owned a company against whom Callanan’s client held a judgment. Judge Sorokin found that issues of material fact existed precluding summary judgment.
Read Westlaw’s Corporate Governance Daily Briefing coverage of the decision here.
Defense Verdict on Claims of Prescriptive Easement and Easement by Necessity
December 22, 2020
Chris Callanan obtained a defense verdict on behalf of homeowner Gabriela Varano after a one-day jury waived trial before Hon. William J. Ritter in the Worcester Superior Court on November 9, 2021. The dispute involved a common driveway running over both sides of adjoining property in Clinton, Massachusetts. Varano’s neighbor sued alleging adverse use sufficient to obtain a prescriptive easement over the portion of the driveway residing on Varano’s land. The neighbors alternatively argued entitlement to an easement by necessity. Judge Ritter denied both of plaintiff’s claims crediting evidence offered by Varano that the neighbors’ long-time use of the shared driveway was permissive, not adverse, and that alternative means of egress precluded a finding of easement by necessity.
Defense Verdict in Workplace Accident Lawsuit
November 20, 2019
Chris Callanan obtained a defense verdict on behalf of OSI Restaurant Partners, LLC, and Outback Steakhouse of Florida, LLC, after a two-day jury trial in the Plymouth Superior Court in Brockton, MA. The plaintiff, an Outback Steakhouse dishwasher, claimed that malfunctioning kitchen equipment caused him to be thrown to the ground, leaving him permanently disabled due to Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Outback claimed that plaintiff’s claims were barred by the Massachusetts workers compensation statute. The Court denied both parties’ motions for summary judgment on the issue of workers compensation immunity.
Unable to resolve the case after four years of discovery and unsuccessful dispositive motion practice, Outback hired Callanan Law to try the case to verdict. Six months later, the Court bifurcated the trial, beginning with a trial on Outback’s affirmative defense of workers compensation immunity.
After two days of evidence and three hours of deliberation, the jury agreed that the defendants were engaged in a “joint enterprise” under the Massachusetts workers compensation statute (Mass. Gen. L. c. 151 §1) and therefore immune to plaintiff’s claims. Judgment entered in favor of both defendants.
$608,218.32 Award on Breach of Contract & Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claim
April 24, 2018
Chris and Kevin Callanan won $464,952 on behalf of Anthony Vegnani after a five-day jury trial in Plymouth Superior Court in Brockton, MA. Vegnani was a party to an Employment Agreement which provided him options to acquire equity in the defendant corporation and severance in the event his employment was involuntarily terminated.
After involuntarily terminating Vegnani’s employment, defendant corporation and majority shareholder refused to pay severance. Vegnani sued alleging breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty. Defendants denied liability and asserted counterclaims including breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, breach of fiduciary duty, and conversion.
The jury found in Vegnani’s favor on his claims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty, awarded him damages totaling $464,952.00 and rejected each of defendants’ four counterclaims.
With prejudgment interest, judgment entered for a total amount of $608,218.32.
First Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Civil Rights Complaint
October 18, 2016
Kevin and Chris Callanan successfully argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston on behalf of a corporate client and its officers and employees in a complaint alleging violations of civil rights.
The Appeals Court unanimously affirmed the District Court’s decision allowing our motion to dismiss a complaint alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act; seeking injunctive relief under Section 1983 for alleged violations of the Medicaid Act, the Rehabilitation Act and the Fourteenth Amendment; and alleging negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract.
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