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Case Summaries

McGovern & Ganem obtained a defendant’s verdict on behalf of their client the Fairmont Copley Hotel after a week-long jury trial in the Suffolk Superior Court in August of 2022.  The plaintiff brought claims for negligence after a slip and fall that occurred in the bathroom of a guestroom causing a neck fracture and other injuries claiming that the hotel did not adhere to industry guidelines regarding guest safety.  The defense maintained that it adhered to the Code of Massachusetts Regulations and ADA requirements and that based on the law as well as the Plaintiff’s pre-existing medical conditions, there was no liability. The Plaintiff argued in closing that their client was entitled to at least a seven-figure verdict.  The jury returned a complete defense verdict after several hours of deliberations.


McGovern & Ganem represented an insurer in a 2022 Arbitration in which the Arbitrator was asked to not only assess Bodily Injury negligence and damages but also whether the Insurer had a duty to provide Optional or Compulsory Bodily Injury coverage benefits under the standard Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Policy.  McGovern & Ganem successfully argued that as the operator of the insured vehicle did not have the consent or permission of the policyholder to operate the insured vehicle at the time of the subject motor vehicle accident, the Insurer had no duty to indemnify either the operator or the policyholder for their negligence if proven.  The arbitrator’s ruling was especially significant as he also found that the operator was negligent, and he awarded significant monetary damages.  However, the insurer was not obligated to pay any of those damages based on the absolute coverage defense. Prior to the arbitration, the plaintiff also agreed not to pursue the operator and/or policyholder, individually, should the Insurer be successful in its coverage defense.  As part of the arbitration agreement, McGovern & Ganem, also convinced the Plaintiff to withdraw any M.G.L. c. 93A and c. 176D claims.


McGovern & Ganem represented an insurer in a 2022 Uninsured Motorist arbitration in which a Policyholder alleged that his vehicle was traveling in the slow travel lane of a highway when it was sideswiped by another vehicle traveling in the breakdown which forced him to exit at a nearby offramp and on to the grass next to the ramp. The Policyholder claimed that he attempted to follow the responsible vehicle after the incident but was not able to obtain the license plate number for the vehicle. There were no independent witnesses to the subject incident. The Arbitrator concluded that the Policyholder’s “version of the events in which the other vehicle was at fault simply is not credible and his hearing testimony is unreliable.”  The Arbitrator found in favor of the Insurer awarding no damages.


McGovern & Ganem represented an insurer in a litigation in which a policyholder was seeking Comprehensive Insurance coverage benefits under a standard Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Policy, following an incident in which the Policyholder drove his vehicle into standing water in the middle of a Nor’easter.  An expert was retained to inspect the insured vehicle and the expert raised two potential fraud issues, a rollback of the odometer and an intentional introduction of water into the engine.  At trial, McGovern & Ganem was able to introduce evidence of the fraud through the expert and law witnesses.  However, more significantly, McGovern & Ganem was able to introduce evidence that the insured vehicle was never a total loss and was driven after the incident for another 5,000 miles.  The successful introduction of this additional evidence proved to be crucial as the jury returned a special verdict slip in which it found that although the Policyholder did not make any material misrepresentations, the insurer did not breach the subject policy, because the Plaintiff failed to prove any recoverable damages and returned a verdict in favor of the insurer.

McGovern & Ganem successfully argued a Motion for Summary Judgment based on the claimant’s breach of the insurance policy contract through the submission of materially false information in the presentment of her PIP claim and based on the execution of a “General Release,” in the tort litigation which failed to carve out any exception for PIP benefits.  The Court also granted Summary Judgment on the claims for violations of M.G.L. c.93A and c.176D entered final Judgment on behalf of the insurer.


McGovern & Ganem represented an insurer in an Arbitration after it denied the insured’s claim based on material misrepresentations regarding the cause and extent of the insured’s shoulder injury.  The insured presented evidence of over $70,000 in medical bills and lost wages claiming that he was injured when an unidentified vehicle ran him off the road causing him to skid on black ice.  Evidence was uncovered that the insured had been involved in a physical altercation while at work the day before the alleged hit and run incident. In defense, it was argued that the insured had not proven a covered loss and that an analysis of the medical records revealed numerous inconsistencies which the Arbitrator found as compelling evidence that the loss did not occur as reported to the insurer and returned a finding in favor of the insurer.

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