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Litigation Law Archives

Recent Decision Confirms that Chapter 93A Claims May Not be Brought for Pre-Employment Misconduct.

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93A creates a cause of action for unfair and deceptive business acts or practices. The statute is intended to cover commercial transactions between independent third parties and is frequently used in litigation because of its punitive aspects (i.e., multiple damages and attorneys' fees). However, the Massachusetts courts have long held that relationships between employers and employees are private in nature and therefore outside the scope of the statute. This begs the question: Can conduct that occurs prior to the formation of the employment relationship be covered by 93A?

A "No Damages for Delay" Clause Between a General Contractor and its Subcontractor Will Not Bar Recovery for Loss of Productivity Damages.

In a recent Massachusetts Superior Court decision, the judge narrowly construed a standard "no damages for delay" clause in a subcontract thereby allowing the subcontractor to recover certain damages. A typical clause of this type provides that the sole remedy for any delay caused by the general contractor would be an extension of time by which the subcontractor's work must be completed. In most cases, this will be an absolute bar to any subcontractor claim for damages.

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