When So Much Is On The Line, Only A Proven Law Firm Will Do
Areas Of Practice
We have represented regional insurers and their insureds for decades and understand the need for a timely and aggressive defense. We have obtained successful results in first-party actions, arbitration, mediation and reference forms as well as traditional third-party claims.
A Firm With Decades Of Litigation Experience At Your Disposal
Sullivan & Associates, LLC, is known for its vigorous representation of clients’ interests, long-standing trial expertise, exceptional reputation and, especially, for the results we’ve achieved on behalf of countless individuals and companies. With over 150 years of combined experience, we put our vast range of knowledge, and highly strategic and disciplined approach to work for you and ensure that we fight for the resolution you deserve.
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Supreme Judicial Court
This a wrongful death case that was brought by the deceased’s estate against a homeowner who entered into a short-term weekend lease (through an Airbnb-like platform) of his residence to a group of college alumni who were throwing a reunion get-together. The lessee made extensive preparations for the party, invited well known disc jockeys, set up multiple bars and distributed flyers advertising a “Splash Mansion Pool Party”. The deceased was invited to the party that had allegedly grown to be over 100 guests and was unfortunately involved in an altercation in the early morning hours where he was shot and killed near the outdoor pool. The local police extensively investigated the murder but were unable to obtain enough evidence to identify the responsible party. The plaintiff brought a suit alleging the homeowner was negligent, violated local zoning ordinances by using his property in such a manner, failing to provide security, failing to take steps to investigate the background of the short-term lessee and monitor the event. A motion to dismiss was filed by the defendant and allowed in Superior Court challenging the basis of the legal duty owed by the homeowner to the plaintiff. An appeal was taken to the Massachusetts Appeals Court and direct appellate review was granted by the Supreme Judicial Court. The plaintiff argued that just as hotels, restaurants and common carries owe a duty to protect their customers from third-party harm, the defendant as a “short-term rental operator” had the same duty to all lawful visitors on this property during a rental. The defendant argued there was no duty for a property owner to protect guests from the random violent acts of third parties. Absent a special relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant, no duty existed as a matter of law. The SJC declined to expand the duty owed by a property owner in these circumstances despite the use of a new age economy platform of Airbnb-like rentals, upheld existing common law and affirmed the Superior Court judge’s decision to grant the defendant’s motion to dismiss. 2021.