M&P attorneys Michael Mazurczak and Daniel Beauchemin recently secured the dismissal of a chapter 93A and civil rights action on behalf of a local business sued in federal district court in Boston. The plaintiff filed a 100-page complaint extensively detailing alleged wrongdoing by police, judges, and private citizens. The plaintiff sought millions in damages and attorney fees.
M&P represented an area business and its manager, who collectively were accused of contriving with police and the courts to deprive the plaintiff of his rights to due process and to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. The plaintiff also took issue with the business’ customer service responses and contended that he suffered personal injury as a result. Recognizing that civil rights actions against private actors are strongly disfavored, however, M&P successfully moved to dismiss. M&P also convinced the judge that the plaintiff failed to state a claim under c. 93A for want of an adequately plead unfair or deceitful trade practice. The plaintiff declined to pursue the matter further.
The case highlights the importance of meticulous case investigations and, when necessary, aggressive motions practice. At the outset, counsel must carefully interview witnesses and scrutinize any pleadings, demand letters, and underlying proceedings. Doing so ensures that factual and legal defenses are established as soon as possible and, consequently, clients can be candidly advised on expectations for all phases of litigation. It is likewise prudent for businesses of all sizes to review applicable policies of insurance, as even the most far-fetched scenarios may arise and ample coverage minimizes risk in those unlikely cases.