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New Case Law on the Requirement of Notice

Say on the street or on the sidewalk – in a public way located in the municipality – is a faulty or dangerous condition, such as a pit or uneven depression. Say you are wrong and injured when you walk. What kind of process must be followed to bring damages? This issue played a central role in the new Opinion of the Massachusetts Court of Appeal


Massachusetts 'Default Practice Statute', found in section 84, section 15 and 18 of the General Laws of Massachusetts, offers the exclusive right to repair personal injuries caused by public-law errors, whether these faults were caused by the Commonwealth, the municipality, or subdivision, or any person or entity obliged to repair the fault. As part of the procedure, the defective order imposes a strict reporting obligation if the plaintiff must notify the responsible party within 30 days of the damage. The courts acknowledge that timely notification is both a "precedent" that brings with it a requirement and "an essential ingredient that is necessary for the cause of action".

Sarrouf v. The city of Boston dealt with the negligence demanded by a woman who stepped into uneven depression while walking in public in Boston. He suffered serious injuries on his left foot. According to the statute of the defective custom, the plaintiff informed the city of Boston of his injuries and claims within thirty days. Approximately eleven weeks later, the plaintiff received a letter from the city stating that Boston Gas Company was responsible for his injuries. The applicant then sent a notice to the Boston Gas Company, after which he lodged a complaint with the Superior Court against both the city and the gas company.

Gas Company submitted a claim for rejection claiming that it did not receive the required notification under the Statute. This movement was rejected, and the case proceeded to trial, but after the plaintiff's case ended, the gas company again filed a motion, this time in a directed judgment. given the state of Massachusetts court decision on a directed verdict is granted if the evidence is conclusive in favor of one party, so that a reasonable jury could not find the other half. The trial judge undeniably found that the applicant did not inform Boston Gas of his injuries within thirty days and that the applicants' evidence showed that the identity of Boston Gas as a responsible party was easily perceptible. The judge gave the Gas Company movement.

In the appeal, the applicant admitted that he had not informed the Boston Gas Company of his injuries in time, but claimed that he should be released from the 30-day notification obligation because he was "virtually impossible" to find out that Boston Gas was responsible. The plaintiffs argued that, under the appropriate procedure, there should be an exception to the obligation to notify, as it is unfair to require him to notify a community which he cannot easily identify.

The appellate court disagreed with the plaintiff and confirmed the decision of the trial judge. The court rejected the applicant's argument that the right to due process of violating the party by insisting that the party submitting timely notice to the respondents, who are not easily recognizable – the argument that the applicant has been classified as cases dealing with the publishing process by publishing.

“We reject the rule that the responsible party is not reasonably verifiable. The statute abandons the delay only if 'it is impossible for a person injured by physical or mental disability to report within the required time', the Court stated. "We acknowledge that a strict interpretation of the statute can lead to harsh results, but" if there are practical reasons why time should be kept, it is the right body to consider and weigh it. "" Since the plaintiff has failed to submit the required notification to Boston Gas Company, he did not submit a substantial part of his claim, the right of appeal was held by

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