Boston-based Day Pitney partner Jonathan I. Handler was quoted in an article, "Split Mass. Top Court Says Strict Time Bar Can Apply To 93A," published by Law360. The article discusses a recent 4-3 split decision in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, which held for the first time that the state's consumer protection law and claims brought under it are not immune to a blanket statute of repose on tort claims. As noted in the article, in response to expanded liability faced by the construction industry, Massachusetts enacted a statute of repose for improvements to real property in 1968. The statute provides that negligence claims arising from such improvements to real property are barred after six years from the date the structure is opened for use or reaches substantial completion. In this recent ruling, the court held that the repose statute also applies to consumers seeking to recover under the state's unfair or deceptive business practices statute, Chapter 93A of the General Laws.
Handler told Law360 that tension between the majority decision and the dissent was particularly interesting—each side argued that its own approach honored the wishes of the Legislature and that any alternative conclusion would require the SJC to improperly impinge on the authority of the legislative branch. "Obviously they have different views of what the current law actually provides," Handler said of the majority and dissent. "They both accuse the other of taking on excessive authority beyond what the court should be doing, but, nonetheless, they come to directly opposite conclusions."
Handler commented further that the rare division was a testament to the difficulty the court had in deciding whether the statute of repose should ever apply to 93A claims. "You don't get a ton of dissents from the [Supreme Judicial Court], especially on things that aren't constitutional issues, which tells you that they struggled with this and it was a really close call," he said.
The case is Bridgwood v. A.J. Wood Construction Inc.
Attorneys Benjamin Haglund, Michael Fitzpatrick and Palak Sharma co-authored the New York and New Jersey sections of Lex Mundi's Global Attorney-Client Privilege Guide.
On May 19, Partner Jonathan Handler moderated a virtual book talk for the Massachusetts Chapter of the Federal Bar Association with Professor Jeff Kosseff, author of The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet.
Day Pitney Partner James Rotondo, Counsel Steven Cash, and their former colleague Kaitlin Canty authored the chapter, "Regulating Cannabis Products," in the second edition of Product Liability Litigation, Current Law, Strategies, and Best Practices, published by Practicing Law Institute.
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Day Pitney attorneys James Rotondo and Andrew Ammirati co-authored an Expert Analysis article, "May Amazon be held liable in strict products liability?," for Westlaw Today.
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Attorneys Kritika Bharadwaj, Benjamin E. Haglund, Theresa A. Kelly, Naju R. Lathia and Elizabeth J. Sher represented the firm at the South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey (SABA-NJ) 2021 Annual Gala on October 1 at The Marigold in Somerset, NJ.
Kevin Duffy and Naju Lathia were honored at the New Jersey Legal Awards Ceremony on September 23, at the Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park, NJ.
Day Pitney Litigation partner Mark Romance appointment to the ABA's Commercial and Business Litigation Committee as co-chair was featured in Intellectual Property Magazine.