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Attorneys Bill Keville, Mike Byrne, and Chris George Secure Appeals Court Victory in Premises Liability Lawsuit

Rule 12 motions to dismiss are challenging. The expense is not warranted in most cases, but used wisely a Rule 12 motion can eliminate risk and exposure quickly and decisively. McCusker v. Kennefick was a wrongful death action arising from the tragic death of a 3 year old guest who wandered away from a holiday gathering at the defendants’ home and drowned on neighboring property.   Melick & Porter’s team of Bill Keville, Mike Byrne and Chris George filed a motion to dismiss in lieu of an answer.  The Superior Court allowed the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.  The Appeals Court recently affirmed the judgment.  The court agreed with M&P that plaintiff could not prevail because defendants did not owe the minor guest a duty of care, either as social hosts or because they had entered into a custodial or other special relationship with the child that might support the imposition of such a duty. Duty is a question of law, and the absence of a duty supports a viable motion to dismiss.  

Melick & Porter’s early assessment and aggressive pursuit of a motion to dismiss saved the defendants from the emotional and financial costs of protracted litigation.  Congratulations Bill, Mike and Chris.