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Christopher v. Duffy

Court of Appeals of Massachusetts
28 Mass. App. Ct. 780 (1990)


Facts

The Christopher family lived in an apartment that contained a dangerous amount of lead. The daughter (Janette) got lead poisoning. The owners of the apartment hired Duffy (defendant) to remove the lead. Duffy’s efforts allegedly increased the family’s exposure to lead. Janette died of pneumonia that she was unable to fight off in her weak condition. The mother (plaintiff) sued the apartment’s owners, former owner, and Duffy for violation of various statutes and regulations and for wrongful death. The owners and former owner settled with Christopher. Christopher then moved to amend her complaint by dropping the original defendants except Duffy and adding five lead manufacturing companies and a trade association as defendants. The judge denied Christopher’s motion to amend. Christopher filed a petition for relief from that denial of her motion to amend. Her petition was denied. Christopher appealed the denial of her petition. The Court of Appeals denied her petition and affirmed the judge’s decision to deny Christopher’s motion to amend her complaint.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Kaplan, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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