Bayless v. TTS Trio Corp.Annotate this Case
The decedent in this case was killed in a one-car accident when he drove in an intoxicated state after leaving a restaurant owned by Defendants. Plaintiff filed a complaint under the Commonwealth’s wrongful death statute, alleging that Defendants exhibited negligent, willful, wanton, and reckless conduct by selling and serving alcoholic beverages to the decedent prior to the decedent’s fatal motor vehicle accident and that such conduct was the proximate cause of the decedent’s death. Plaintiff submitted an affidavit pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 231, 60J (commonly referred to as the dram shop act) stating that it was based on information and belief gathered from witness statements, a police report, and a medical toxicology report. Defendants moved to strike the affidavit and for partial summary judgment of Plaintiff’s complaint, arguing that a section 60J affidavit must be based upon personal knowledge. The superior court denied Defendants’ motion. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) a section 60J affidavit based on information and belief may be sufficient to satisfy the procedural requirements of the statute; and (2) in this case, the affidavit satisfied the requirements of section 60J.