Home STANLEY HARAKIEWICZ & another vs. MARY DAKAS & others.

345 Mass. 594

March 4, 1963 - March 12, 1963

Worcester County


Injuries sustained by occupants of a motor vehicle on private property fifteen to twenty feet from the line of a State highway when it was struck by another motor vehicle which went out of control on the highway and entered upon the private property arose "out of the . . . operation . . . [of the second motor vehicle] upon the ways of the commonwealth" within G. L. c. 90, Section 34A, as amended, and were covered by the policy of compulsory motor vehicle liability insurance applicable to the second motor vehicle.

BILL IN EQUITY filed in the Superior Court on July 15, 1960.

The suit was heard by Meagher, J.

The case was submitted on briefs.

Richard S. Smith for Westchester Fire Insurance Company.

Seymour Weinstein for the plaintiffs.

Page 595

CUTTER, J. This is a bill to reach and apply, in satisfaction of judgments obtained by the plaintiffs, the obligation of Westchester Fire Insurance Company (Westchester) under a compulsory automobile liability insurance policy issued to one Gogas, an individual defendant. The policy covered the vehicle which injured the plaintiffs on September 22, 1957. The trial judge found that this vehicle, driven by the defendant Dakas, "was proceeding at a high rate of speed and went out of control upon the public way, entered upon . . . [private] property . . . and struck the plaintiffs' car." The plaintiffs' automobile was then upon property occupied by a Howard Johnson restaurant at a point "fifteen to twenty feet from the line of the State highway." The judge ruled that the accident was within the policy coverage, i.e., providing indemnity for bodily injuries "arising out of the . . . operation . . . [of the vehicle] upon the ways of the commonwealth." Westchester appealed.

The judge's ruling was correct. See Desmarais v. Standard Acc. Ins. Co. 331 Mass. 199 , 200-203, and cases cited. Here the cause of the injury was the negligent operation of the vehicle upon a public way. In view of the terms of the coverage, it is immaterial that the impact of Gogas's automobile upon the plaintiffs, and their injuries, caused by the operation upon the highway, occurred after the entire automobile had left the highway and had entered upon private property. See G. L. c. 90, Section 34A (as amended through St. 1949, c. 571, Section 1 [Note 1]).

Decree affirmed with costs of the appeal.


[Note 1] See later amendments by St. 1959, c. 282, Section 3, and St. 1961, c. 177, Section 3.