Home WILLIAM J. FITZGERALD & another, trustees, [Note 1] vs. BOSTON REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY.

357 Mass. 766

April 1, 1970

At the trial of a petition for the assessment of damages for the taking of the petitioners' land by eminent domain the jury returned a verdict of $254,000. The locus, consisting of 15,000 square feet, is at 26, 27, and 28 Dock Square, corner of Congress and State streets, Boston. The taking was made on October 25, 1961. Following an extended preliminary examination, the judge, subject to the petitioners' exception, admitted testimony of the purchase price paid by the petitioners in 1955 for 12,000 square feet of the locus. When purchased in 1955 the locus was used as a parking lot; when taken in 1961 it was used as a parking lot. The jury took a view, received evidence of changes in the surrounding area and of increases in real estate values, and heard conflicting opinion testimony by experts, who used different methods of evaluation, of the fair market value of the locus. The petitioners contend that the admission of the 1955 purchase price was an abuse of discretion amounting to error of law with the result that the verdict was so grossly inadequate as to require a new trial. We disagree. We reject the petitioners' hypothesis that the verdict was necessarily and exclusively the consequence of the testimony objected to. The case was fully and fairly tried for six days. The evidence was admissible in the discretion of the judge. No error has been shown. H. E. Fletcher Co. v. Commonwealth, 350 Mass. 316 . Bartley v. Phillips, 317 Mass. 35 .

Exceptions overruled.


FOOTNOTES

[Note 1] Ann P. B. Fitzgerald.

Home CROGNALE CONSTRUCTION CO., INC. vs. TOWN OF DEDHAM.

357 Mass. 766

April 1, 1970

This petition for the assessment of damages for the taking of land in Dedham as a site for a new Public Works garage resulted in a verdict for the petitioner. The respondent filed a motion for new trial, accompanied by affidavits. This motion was heard on four grounds, the only one now argued being newly discovered evidence. The motion was denied. The respondent excepted. There was no abuse of discretion, and the refusal will not result in manifest injustice. Spiller v. Metropolitan Transit Authy. 348 Mass. 576 , 580.

Exceptions overruled.

Home ISAAC WASHINGTON vs. CLARENCE A. SULLIVAN & another.

357 Mass. 766

April 1, 1970

The plaintiff was a passenger in a taxicab driven by the defendant Rufus

Page 767

Cooks when it was struck in the rear by an automobile driven by the defendant Sullivan. He brings this action against both drivers for injuries allegedly sustained in the collision. At the end of the judge's charge to the jury, the plaintiff requested that the jury be further instructed "as to the inferences that may be drawn from the fact that the rear end collision -- namely, the elements of excessive speed, failure of equipment, inattention of the operator or travelling too close to the rear of the car --." The request was denied and the plaintiff saved the only exception now before us. The outline bill of exceptions quotes about six lines from the charge to the jury and some fragments of the testimony of the plaintiff and one defendant. It also quotes six pre-trial written interrogatories by the plaintiff and answers thereto by the defendants; but it does not indicate whether they were introduced in evidence at the trial. The trial judge was not required to instruct the jury as to the legal effect of mere fragments of the evidence. Barnes v. Berkshire St. Ry. 281 Mass. 47 , 50-51, and cases cited. Sullivan v. John Hancock Mut. Life Ins. Co. 342 Mass. 649 , 657. Wadsworth v. Boston Gas Co. 352 Mass. 86 , 94. Whether a charge is legally correct or adequate depends on the charge considered as a whole, rather than on mere fragments from it. Haven v. Brimfield, 345 Mass. 529 , 533. Posner v. Minsky, 353 Mass. 656 , 660. No error is shown on this somewhat sketchy record before us which does not include the whole charge to the jury.

Exceptions overruled.