Home MARIA A. ROLLINS & another vs. ALFRED H. MARENGO, JR., & another.

354 Mass. 765

May 29, 1968

In this action of tort the jury returned a verdict for the female plaintiff (plaintiff) for personal injuries and a verdict for her husband for consequential damages. The case is here on the defendants' exceptions to the denial of their motions for directed verdicts and to the denial of their motions that verdicts be entered for the defendants under leave reserved. The plaintiff fell on an outside step at the kitchen entrance of a "ranch-type home" owned and controlled by the defendants. The plaintiff was there for the purpose of being the godmother of the defendants' two-week old baby and to take the baby from the home to the church to be baptized. The defendants admit "that there was evidence to warrant a finding of their negligence in . . . their maintenance of this step, causative of the plaintiff's injuries." They contend, however, that the plaintiff cannot recover because her "status . . . was that of a social visitor or licensee." They argue that this was a "commonplace and a routine incident" and cite the case of Pandiscio v. Bowen, 342 Mass. 435 , 438, in support of their contention. We do not agree. That case is readily distinguishable from the instant one. Here, the plaintiff did not agree to act as a godmother until after some deliberation and after an inquiry as to what the duties of a godmother were. She is not a blood relation of the defendants. There was evidence that the mother of the child "was going to stay home" and that it was important for the child to have a godmother at the church because "without the godmother . . . they don't baptize . . . children." We are of opinion that in this case the plaintiff was conferring a benefit on the defendants within the principles enumerated in the case of Taylor v. Goldstein, 329 Mass. 161 . See Posner v. Minsky, 353 Mass. 656 , 659-660. This is a majority opinion.

Exceptions overruled.

Home KENNETH WEISMAN vs. THEODORE RUBINOVITZ & another.

354 Mass. 765

May 29, 1968

This is a bill in equity to compel the redelivery to the plaintiff of fifty shares of common stock in the defendant Industrial Surplus, Inc. which were alleged to have been in the possession of the defendants. The defendant Rubinovitz contends that the plaintiff is entitled to only thirty-three and one-third shares. A judge in the Superior Court ordered that the plaintiff receive a certificate for fifty shares, and made a report of the material facts found by him. G. L.

Page 766

c. 214, Section 23. Birnbaum v. Pamoukis, 301 Mass. 559 . The defendants appealed from a final decree. The testimony, consisting of 202 mimeographed pages, is reported. The defendants contend that the judge's conclusion is plainly wrong, and submit a very short brief which consists of little more than assertion. It would add nothing to our jurisprudence to record a long written analysis of this factual controversy. We are of opinion that the judge's award of fifty shares was supported by the evidence. The contention of the defendants' counsel that he was entitled to one share, if correct, as to which we express no opinion, does not vitiate that award.

Decree affirmed with costs.