Bicyclists Claims of Negligence Against City Dismissed for Failure to Give Notice Within Statute of Limitations: Twohig v. City of Salem


Twohig v. City of Salem, Suffolk Sup. Ct. 

The Suffolk Superior Court recently granted a Motion to Dismiss in favor of the City of Salem in a negligence suit brought against the City by a bicyclist who allegedly suffered serious injuries while riding on a public way in Salem. He brought negligence claims against the City of Salem and two co-defendants, National Grid and Verizon, and alleged that the City was negligent in its maintenance of the guy-wire as its owner and party in control for failing to outfit it with a protective covering or a bright indicator. 

PDP filed a Motion to Dismiss the plaintiffs’ complaint arguing that because the plaintiff’s injury resulted from a collision with a guy-wire that constituted a “defect” under M.G.L. ch. 84, § 15, his cause of action should be governed by Chapter 84 and that statute’s notice provision, §18, which requires presentment of a claim within thirty days of the accident or injury.  The Court agreed, and held that where the plaintiffs failed to give notice to the City within the proper statutory period, the dismissal of all of the plaintiff’s claims against the City was appropriate.

Read more about this case in Developments in Municipal Law Fall 2016 Newsletter on


John M. Wilusz | 617.350.0950