Murray v. Town of HudsonAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff injured his knee while warming up in the bullpen of a public park in the Town of Hudson before a varsity game between two high school teams. Plaintiff, a ballplayer with the visiting team, brought this action against the Town under the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act alleging negligence and wanton and reckless conduct. The superior court granted summary judgment in favor of the Town, concluding that Plaintiff’s negligence claim was barred by the recreational use statute and that the evidence did not support a finding of wanton or reckless conduct. The Supreme Judicial Court reversed, holding (1) despite the recreational use statute, the Town may be found liable for negligence in providing the pitchers from the visiting team with a bullpen that was not reasonably safe; and (2) Plaintiff complied with the Act’s presentment requirement, and it cannot be determined until trial whether liability is barred by the Act’s discretionary function exemption.