McLaughlin v. Stackpole Fibers Co., Inc.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
Writing for the CourtBefore HENNESSEY; HENNESSEY
Citation403 Mass. 360,530 N.E.2d 157
PartiesHelen McLAUGHLIN, et al. 1 v. STACKPOLE FIBERS COMPANY, INC.
Decision Date09 November 1988

Page 157

530 N.E.2d 157
403 Mass. 360
Helen McLAUGHLIN, et al. 1
v.
STACKPOLE FIBERS COMPANY, INC.
Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts,
Middlesex.
Argued Sept. 13, 1988.
Decided Nov. 9, 1988.

Page 158

Edward J. Moloney, Lowell, for plaintiffs.

Nora Tolins, Natick, for defendant.

Before HENNESSEY, C.J., and WILKINS, ABRAMS, NOLAN and LYNCH, JJ.

HENNESSEY, Chief Justice.

This action stems from the injury and death of Stephen B. McLaughlin in an industrial accident. The plaintiffs, the decedent's widow and minor son, brought suit against the decedent's employer for (1) the widow's loss of consortium caused by the employer's negligence, (2) the widow's loss of consortium caused by the employer's wilful, wanton, and reckless conduct, (3) negligent infliction of emotional distress upon the widow, and (4) the minor son's loss of parental society caused by the employer's negligence.

A Superior Court judge granted the employer's motion to dismiss all the claims under Mass.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), 365 [403 Mass. 361] Mass. 754 (1974), for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The judge entered judgment for the employer on all the claims, and the plaintiffs appealed.

In a memorandum and order under Appeals Court Rule 1:28, the Appeals Court affirmed the dismissal of all but the claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress. 26 Mass.App.Ct. 1101, 522 N.E.2d 1018 (1988). This court allowed the employer's application for further appellate review. The plaintiffs did not apply for further appellate review. Thus the only issue before us is the correctness of the judge's dismissal of the widow's action for emotional distress. We conclude that the judge was correct in dismissing that claim, and we affirm the judgment.

The essential facts relevant to the decedent's accident are as follows. On August 19, 1985, in the course of his employment, McLaughlin inhaled toxic hydrocarbons and lost consciousness. He was taken to a hospital. His wife arrived at the hospital shortly after his death. After her husband's death, the widow applied for and began to receive weekly compensation benefits under the provisions of the workers' compensation act, G.L. c. 152. 2

We disagree with the Appeals Court's conclusion that the judge was in error in dismissing the widow's claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress. General Laws c. 152, §§ 1(4) and 23, bar the claim. Section 23 states that an "employee" who files a claim or accepts...

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8 practice notes
  • Berger v. H.P. Hood, Inc.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • December 23, 1993
    ...sustained in the course of employment, which gave rise to the payment of workers' compensation. See McLaughlin v. Stackpole Fibers Co., 403 Mass. 360, 362, 530 N.E.2d 157 (1988). Merely characterizing the claim as contractual does not alter the essential nature of this common law claim. Hoo......
  • Pittman v. W. Eng'g Co., No. S–11–584.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Nebraska
    • May 25, 2012
    ...an injured employee's family member “arose” from the employee's injury and are therefore barred. In McLaughlin v. Stackpole Fibers Co., 403 Mass. 360, 530 N.E.2d 157 (1988), a widow brought a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress against her deceased husband's employer after ......
  • Maney v. Louisiana Pacific Corp., No. 99-634.
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • December 28, 2000
    ...Provost v. Puget Sound Power & Light Co. (1985), 103 Wash.2d 750, 696 P.2d 1238, and McLaughlin v. Stackpole Fibers Co., Inc. (1988), 403 Mass. 360, 530 N.E.2d ¶ 19 Our analysis of whether § 39-71-411, MCA, bars Maney from bringing an independent tort action for emotional distress against C......
  • Com. v. Caldwell
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • November 10, 1994
    ...review. See Bradford v. Baystate Medical Ctr., 415 Mass. 202, 204-205, 613 N.E.2d 82 (1993); McLaughlin v. Stackpole Fibers Co., 403 Mass. 360, 361, 530 N.E.2d 157 (1988); Commonwealth v. Shea, 398 Mass. 264, 265, 496 N.E.2d 631 (1986); Commonwealth v. Burno, 396 Mass. 622, 623, 487 N.E.2d ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 cases
  • Berger v. H.P. Hood, Inc.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • December 23, 1993
    ...sustained in the course of employment, which gave rise to the payment of workers' compensation. See McLaughlin v. Stackpole Fibers Co., 403 Mass. 360, 362, 530 N.E.2d 157 (1988). Merely characterizing the claim as contractual does not alter the essential nature of this common law claim. Hoo......
  • Pittman v. W. Eng'g Co., No. S–11–584.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Nebraska
    • May 25, 2012
    ...an injured employee's family member “arose” from the employee's injury and are therefore barred. In McLaughlin v. Stackpole Fibers Co., 403 Mass. 360, 530 N.E.2d 157 (1988), a widow brought a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress against her deceased husband's employer after ......
  • Maney v. Louisiana Pacific Corp., No. 99-634.
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • December 28, 2000
    ...Provost v. Puget Sound Power & Light Co. (1985), 103 Wash.2d 750, 696 P.2d 1238, and McLaughlin v. Stackpole Fibers Co., Inc. (1988), 403 Mass. 360, 530 N.E.2d ¶ 19 Our analysis of whether § 39-71-411, MCA, bars Maney from bringing an independent tort action for emotional distress against C......
  • Com. v. Caldwell
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • November 10, 1994
    ...review. See Bradford v. Baystate Medical Ctr., 415 Mass. 202, 204-205, 613 N.E.2d 82 (1993); McLaughlin v. Stackpole Fibers Co., 403 Mass. 360, 361, 530 N.E.2d 157 (1988); Commonwealth v. Shea, 398 Mass. 264, 265, 496 N.E.2d 631 (1986); Commonwealth v. Burno, 396 Mass. 622, 623, 487 N.E.2d ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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