Matranga v. West End Tile Co.

Decision Date03 April 1970
Citation257 N.E.2d 433,357 Mass. 194
PartiesRobert MATRANGA et al. 1 v. WEST END TILE COMPANY, Inc.
CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court

Edward M. Sullivan, Boston, for plaintiffs.

Philander S. Ratzkoff, Boston, for defendant.

Before WILKINS, C.J., and SPALDING, KIRK, SPIEGEL and REARDON, JJ.

KIRK, Justice.

This action of tort, begun by writ dated August 6, 1964, is in two counts. The first count is by the minor plaintiff, through his father and next friend, for personal injuries alleged to have been caused by the negligence of the defendant, its agents or servants. The second count is by the father for consequential damages for medical and other expenses. The judge allowed the defendant's motion for directed verdicts after the plaintiffs' opening. The case is here on the plaintiffs' exceptions.

We summarize the evidence proposed in the plaintiffs' opening. The minor plaintiff, Robert, then six years of age, with two other children went to coast on Hale Street in Boston on January 20, 1960. Robert had never used his sled before. It had no braking apparatus, and only the usual steering lever, which a seated coaster would operate with his feet. Hale Street is a downgrade from south to north. The Boston Traffic Commission had designated it as a street, 'which, exclusive of the side-walks thereof, may be used for coasting on sleds and other like vehicles * * *,' and prohibited the use of motor vehicles on the street. Two signs had been placed at each of both entrances to Hale Street, one reading, 'Do Not Enter' and the other, 'Caution--Coasting.' There were also 'No Parking' signs on the west side of Hale Street. Reference was also made in the opening to ordinances prohibiting: parking on the west side of Hale Street, parking on a public way unless both wheels nearer the curb are within one foot of the curb, parking in a public way so as not to leave a clear and unobstructed lane at least ten feet wide, and parking in a public way in a manner which obstructs the way.

About 2:30 P.M. on January 20, 1960, one Antonucci, who was an agent of the defendant, and who was familiar with Hale Street and the surrounding area, drove a motor vehicle owned by the defendant onto Hale Street. Antonucci parked the vehicle facing downhill, with its left front wheel against the curb or snowbank on the west or left side of the street. The vehicle extended out into the street, with its left rear wheel eight to ten feet from the left-hand curb. The clear space between the right rear bumper and the snowbank on the righthand side of the street was two or three feet. Antonucci left the vehicle unattended for about two and a half hours.

Robert and his friends began coasting about 3:15 P.M. He had not seen the defendant's vehicle before starting. He was seated alone on his sled, coasting down Hale Street on the left of the other two boys. When he saw the car, he was unable to stop in time. He was unable to steer to the right because of the other two boys, and the defendant's vehicle blocked the road on the left. Robert hit the bumper of the car and slid under it.

1. The judge allowed the defendant's motion for directed verdicts because 'The accident was caused by the action of the boy in coasting, intentionally or otherwise, into the automobile.' In ruling on a motion for a directed verdict on the opening, the judge must take all the statements in the opening as true, and in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and if any reasonable view of the facts and rational inferences therefrom can be deemed sufficient to support the plaintiff's cause of action, the motion must be denied. Singarella v. City of Boston, 342 Mass. 385, 386, 173 N.E.2d 290, and cases cited. Joseph E. Bennett Co. Inc. v. Fireman's Fund Ins. Co., 344 Mass. 99, 102--103, 181 N.E.2d 557; Tassinari v. Massachusetts Turnpike Authy., 347 Mass. 222, 223, 197 N.E.2d 584; Rombola v. Cosindas, 351 Mass. 382, 384, 220 N.E.2d 919.

The question for decision is whether the defendant's unlawful parking on Hale Street could rightly be found to have been a contributing,...

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7 cases
  • Com. v. Martin
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • 3 Abril 1970
  • Hubert v. Melrose-Wakefield Hosp. Ass'n
    • United States
    • Appeals Court of Massachusetts
    • 14 Marzo 1996
    ...to the plaintiff. Singarella v. Boston, 342 Mass. 385, 386, 173 N.E.2d 290 (1961), and cases cited. Matranga v. West End Tile Co., Inc., 357 Mass. 194, 196, 257 N.E.2d 433 (1970), and cases cited. Beaumont v. Segal, 362 Mass. 30, 31, 283 N.E.2d 858 (1972). Monterosso v. Gaudette, 8 Mass.App......
  • Kalinowski v. Smith
    • United States
    • Appeals Court of Massachusetts
    • 29 Diciembre 1978
    ...can be deemed sufficient to support the plaintiff's cause of action, the motion must be denied." Matranga v. West End Tile Co., 357 Mass. 194, 196, 257 N.E.2d 433, 434 (1970), and cases Relevant facts drawn from the plaintiff's opening are as follows: About 4:30 on the clear, dry afternoon ......
  • Beaumont v. Segal
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • 5 Junio 1972
    ...the motion must be denied. Singarella v. Boston, 342 Mass. 385, 386, 173 N.E.2d 290, and cases cited. Matranga v. West End Tile Co., Inc., 357 Mass. 194, 196, 257 N.E.2d 433. Applying this rule, we conclude that the judge properly directed verdicts for all defendants. The plaintiff's declar......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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