Case Resolved by:  Verdict___  Settlement_XX_  Mediation___  Arbitration___

Full Case Name:

Mary Mohan v. New England Truck Stop


Worcester Superior Court

Case Number:


Jury — Settled prior to closing arguments.

Significant Legal Issues or Holdings:

Suit against local truck stop for negligence in allowing snow and ice from parking lot to be tracked out onto the adjacent highway on the tires of trucks exiting from the truck stop lot. The defense claimed that the snow and ice had blown onto the highway from an open field located across the street and that the patch of ice which caused the accident was actually located well beyond the truck stop. After the accident, it was reported in a local newspaper, "because of an open field, snow blows across the highway, hiding traffic lines and causing slippery driving conditions." The defense identified an accident reconstruction expert who was prepared to testify that based on the curve of the road and the location of the cars after the accident, the skid did not begin until the plaintiff's car was beyond the entrance to the truck stop. The expert testimony was excluded by the trial judge after the plaintiff filed a motion in limine because the defendant failed to disclose the identity of the expert prior to trial.

Plaintiff Characteristics:  age, work history, earnings, family, etc.

Plaintiff was 17 at the time of the accident.

Liability Facts:

The plaintiff, a passenger in car A, was traveling west on Route 20 in Sturbridge. The defendant, the driver of car B, was traveling east on Route 20. The defendant testified that he hit a patch of ice and snow causing his car to skid across the centerline striking car A head on. After collecting the available insurance from the driver of car B, the plaintiff proceeded against the defendant — New England Truck Stop, a busy truck stop on Route 20. The plaintiff alleged that the New England Truck Stop had created a nuisance by allowing snow to be tracked out onto Route 20 on the tires of trucks exiting the truck stop's parking lot.

Describe Physical Injuries by Plaintiff:

Traumatic head injury/fractured ankle.

Describe Special Damages by Plaintiff:

Plaintiff Experts & Specialty (Name/Address/Phone)

Defense Experts & Specialty (Name/Address/Phone)

Comments:  (Please add additional page(s) if necessary)

As submitting plaintiff’s attorney, I certify that the facts contained herein are true and accurate and hereby give permission to APITLAmerica® to publish this account of this case in any place they so choose, including, but not limited to, at APITLAmerica® CLEs, in any APITLAmerica® literature, on the APITLAmerica® website, in the APITLAmerica® newsletter, and in any books, articles, Powerpoints, presentations, and in any other means or method of publication or transmission in the total discretion of APITLAmerica®.  Furthermore, by my signature below, I also hereby release and provide to APITLAmerica® any copyrights to the information contained in this case report, and warrant that no other copyrights have been given to any other entity for this material.

Submitted by:

Plaintiff Attorney:

Edward C. Bassett, Jr., Esq., Mirick O'Connell

Phone:                                                   Fax:

(508) 898-1501                                                   (508) 983-6233


1700 West Park Drive

Email Address:


Westborough, MA 01581-3941


Putting the Brakes on Unsafe Trucking Companies