Home RICHARD R. LEBLOND, administrator, & another vs. BERNARD F. FINNERTY (and two companion cases [Note 1]).

351 Mass. 713

February 2, 1967

The defendant has excepted to the denial of motions for directed verdicts in three cases, consolidated for trial, arising out of a multiple collision involving a bus and a number of automobiles, one of which was operated by the defendant. On the evidence most favorable to the plaintiffs the jury could have found the following. The plaintiff Norman D. Doucette, accompanied by his wife, the plaintiff Mary A. Doucette, on July 9, 1960, was operating a passenger vehicle in the right hand lane of Route 110 in Amesbury, Massachusetts. He was following a bus carrying Raymond J. LeBlond, a plaintiff who died after the trial, and the plaintiff Ersolina C. LeBlond and the plaintiffs William Ring and Joan Ring and, in turn, was proceeding several car lengths in front of the defendant. As Doucette slowed down in response to the bus's reduced speed and directional indication that it was preparing to stop, his automobile was struck in the rear by the vehicle operated by the defendant. The impact knocked Doucette's car into an oncoming car in the third lane while the defendant's car proceeded along the left side of the stationary bus, stopping some 700 feet ahead. The jury could properly conclude that the negligence of the defendant produced the chaos which damaged the person and property of Doucette and injured his wife. Hendler v. Coffey, 278 Mass. 339, 340-341. Cousins v. Cummings, 332 Mass. 649, 650-651. Harrington v. Central Greyhound Lines, Inc. of New York, 336 Mass. 436, 437. It was also open to the jury on the evidence to infer that it was the defendant's car which struck the bus causing injury to those plaintiffs who were passengers therein. Jennings v. Bragdon, 289 Mass. 595, 597. Mazzaferro v. Dupuis, 321 Mass. 718, 719.

Exceptions overruled.


[Note 1] Norman D. Doucette & another vs. Bernard F. Finnerty. William Ring & another vs. Bernard F. Finnerty.


351 Mass. 713

February 2, 1967

This petition for a writ of mandamus seeks to compel the building inspector of the town of Norwood to enforce the zoning by-law of the town "as it stood before the alleged amendment of September 23, 1965." Prior to the amendment an area of about 189 acres was zoned as "Single Residence 2." The amendment changed the zone to "Limited Manufacturing." The trial judge viewed the area, made rather detailed findings and ordered that judgment be entered dismissing the petition. The petitioners appealed. The evidence is reported and the exhibits are before us. The thrust of the petitioners' argument appears to be that this is spot zoning. We do not agree. The judge found that "[r]egard was had to the characteristics of the different parts of the Town, and the most appropriate use of the land was for light manufacturing, and not for residential purposes. Spot zoning is not involved and the amendment will not violate the requirement of uniform classification, and is not invalid because made after other nearby land had been for a long time classified for residences. It was an appropriate zoning reclassification of the locus in the light of the physical characteristics of the land." Our

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examination of the record lends support to the conclusions of the judge. The legal principles involved have been frequently stated by us in previous decisions. We discern no inconsistencies in the holding in this case.

Order affirmed.