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Hanley v. Citizens Bank of Massachusetts

Massachusetts Superior Court
2001 WL 717106 (2001)


James Hanley (plaintiff), a security guard employed by Metropolitan Security Service (MSS), filed suit against Citizens Bank of Massachusetts (Citizens) (defendant) ten years after he entered the bank one morning and was beaten and seriously injured by robbers who had surreptitiously gained entry to the bank the night before. The night before, an alarm sounded at the bank and the police responded. However, because a representative of the bank failed to arrive at the scene, the police were unable to gain entry to investigate. As Hanley entered the bank the following morning, the robbers disarmed him, kicked him repeatedly, and threatened to kill him. Subsequently, it was learned that the robbers were a part of the Hole-in-the-Roof Gang, thieves known to cut holes in the roof of a target bank during the night and wait for employees to arrive the next morning. Hanley first learned that the police had responded to the alarm but could not enter the branch without a bank representative when the gang was prosecuted for the crime in federal court. Hanley claimed the bank was negligent in the hiring, training, and supervision of personnel in charge of security who should have had someone arrive when the police were notified of the alarm. Citizens filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that it was barred by the statute of limitations.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Burnes, J.)

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