Monday, November 11, 2013

Pinnick v. Cleary case brief

Pinnick v. Cleary case brief summary
271 N.E.2d 592 (Mass. 1971)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff claimant filed a bill for declaratory relief attacking the constitutionality of 1970 Mass. Acts 670 (no-fault automobile insurance law), which established a modified system of compensation through their own insurers for victims of automobile accidents regardless of fault.

CASE FACTS


  • The claimant and defendant driver were involved in an automobile accident that was caused exclusively by the driver's negligence. 
  • The claimant brought an action against the driver for reasonable compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. 
  • The driver refused payment and, as a defense, raised the no-fault automobile insurance law, which had become effective two days prior to the accident. 
  • The no-fault automobile insurance law exempted the driver from liability up to $ 2,000 to the extent the claimant was entitled to personal injury protection from his own insurer. 
  • As a result, the claimant brought the bill for declaratory relief, claiming the operation of the no-fault automobile insurance law unconstitutionally deprived him of his right to full recovery in tort. 
DISCUSSION
The court held the no-fault automobile insurance law was constitutional because it bore a reasonable relation to a permissible legislative objective and it provided an adequate and reasonable substitute for preexisting rights.


CONCLUSION


The court entered a decree declaring the no-fault automobile insurance law constitutional because it bore a reasonable relation to the permissible legislative objective of relieving court congestion and the high cost of automobile insurance, and it provided an adequate and reasonable substitute for preexisting rights.

Suggested Study Aids For Tort Law

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