Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane Attorneys Find Favorable Decision in Appellate Court
Kevin Freytag and Michael Maccaro represented the Town of Natick (“Town”) regarding a dispute that arose out of a two year agreement between the Town and a committee of Natick town employee organizations known as the Public Employees Committee (“PEC”). The agreement was regarding an opt-out provision for health insurance which was a cash stipend given in place of health insurance for those that already had coverage from some other source. This employee opted out of an agreement for health insurance then brought suit claiming to be entitled to a cash stipend for the entire two year duration of the agreement even though the employee retired before the end of the first year of the two-year agreement.
Thomas E. Forance and Local 1707 of the International Association of Firefighters (“Local 1707”) filed an action that Florance was entitled to a cash stipend for the entire two-year period of the agreement and not just the time he was actually an employee in Natick. The town paid Forance a cash stipend that was prorated to the time that Forance was an employee and then deemed him ineligible to receive any additional benefits due to his status of no longer an employee of the town but a retiree.
Attorneys Freytag and Maccaro will be headed back to trial after the appellate court reversed the judgement on behalf of local 1707 and Forance, the judgement was vacated, thus bringing the case back for trial.
Attorney Felicia Vasudevan, a partner at Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, received a favorable decision on behalf of her client, Marshfield Public Schools. The Plaintiff appealed the district court’s judgement that upheld a decision of the Massachusetts Bureau of Special Education Appeals (“BSEA”). However, as the notice was filed more than 30 days after entry, the First Circuit ultimately dismissed the appeal for being untimely. The Plaintiff also appealed the district court’s order, denying her motion to vacate. Read More
Following our Alert from March 16, 2023, Civility is Dead – The Supreme Court Rules Municipal Control of Public Speak Limited to Reasonable Time/Place/Manner Restrictions, which discussed the holding to the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision in Barron v. Kolenda and the Town of Southborough (SJC-13284), we promised to bring you more detailed guidance on developing a Public Speak policy for your public body or municipality. The Barron case involved a constitutional challenge to the Town of Southborough’s public comment policy, which attempted to impose a code of civility on members of the public who participated in public comment before public bodies. In Barron, the court interpreted the state constitution to mean that public bodies may request, but not require, that public commentators be respectful and courteous. Instead, a public body may set restrictions on reasonable time, place, and manner comments to ensure that the meeting retains an orderly and peaceable manner.