Search Site
Menu

A Duty of Reasonable Care on the Property

If you think of major cases in tort law, which includes personal injury law, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts in the 1970s provided a wealth of evolving law. Their decisions were as epic in this field as the decisions of the United States Supreme Court in the 1960s when that court issued a whole host of rulings concerning criminal and constitutional law. Because this blog deals with the handling of personal injury cases, I will focus on the SJC in the 1970s. Recent blogs have concerned changes in the common law of torts brought by judicial decision. One of the biggest decisions was the case of Mounsey v. Ellard, 363 Mass. 693 (1973) where business invitees were eliminated as a separate category and a duty of reasonable care was imposed upon all those lawfully on the premises. With respect to trespassers, that distinction remained as land owners continued to owe them a duty only to refrain from willful, wanton, or reckless disregard. Prior to Mounsey, the focus would be on the status of the person on the land i.e. whether they were an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. In Mounsey, the Supreme Judicial Court abrogated the distinction between invitee and licensee and no longer expected a focus on the status of the person who was injured. I am not sure this abrogation was a pro-plaintiff decision, although it is generally thought to have been, but it certainly narrowed the legal issues.
Mounsey continues to be the leading case in this field (having recently been cited in the snow-and-ice Papadopoulos v. Target decision) almost four decades after it was decided.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Feinberg & Alban, P.C. fervently protects your rights
  • The Boston firm of Feinberg & Alban, P.C. specializes its practice in the area of personal injury.

    The attorneys serve the entire state of Massachusetts in addition to affiliating with lawyers in other states to handle cases outside of Massachusetts.

  • $7.7 Million Award for Feinberg & Alban Client in Personal Injury Trial

    Boston Attorneys Win Highest Injury Verdict in Massachusetts in 2011 & 2012.

Client Reviews
  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Robert Feinberg did a fantastic job handling our case. He is a thoughtful, caring man, cordial and a complete professional. The settlement we received was more than we had ever anticipated, his legal work is beyond reproach. Thank you Robert!!

    Read more

    Robert Bard

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    After my motorcycle accident I contacted Feinberg & Alban. I met with Marsha for a consultation and she was great. Their entire team kept me in the loop for the entire process. Colleen was also a part of my case, she help me with understanding a lot ...

    Read more

    Beantownie 617

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    I will be forever grateful to Robert and his team at Feinberg & Alban, P.C. He is the best of the best and I truly cannot recommend his expertise enough. Having Robert represent me brought me great comfort. I never once doubted that he would not be s...

    Read more

    Mitchell Petitti

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    I will be forever grateful to Robert and his team at Feinberg & Alban, P.C. He is the best of the best and I truly cannot recommend his expertise enough. Having Robert represent me brought me great comfort. I never once doubted that he would not be s...

    Read more

    Client

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Robert and his team were unbelievably caring and thorough in working on my interests. It was a very serious case. It needed much attention and skill. Robert and his team were always there for me from the time I was in the hospital. They got me an ama...

    Read more

    Jason Lebovitz

See all reviews
Awards & Affiliations
Contact us

Quick Contact Form