Michael R. Perry, a partner at Hunton Andrews Kurth, obtained a summary judgment on behalf of the Boston Red Sox in a wrongful death case currently pending in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston.
The case arose out of the murder of Jepthe Chery who was shot and killed on November 26, 2015 shortly after exiting a bar called Who’s on First located on Yawkey Way in Boston. Mr. Chery’s estate subsequently filed suit against both Who’s on First and the Boston Red Sox Baseball Club, in its capacity as the sub-landlord of the premises. Specifically, Plaintiffs alleged that the Red Sox negligently failed to ensure that adequate security was in place on the night of Mr. Chery’s murder, and that this failure led directly to Mr. Chery’s death.
Following protracted discovery, the Red Sox filed a summary judgment motion based on the proposition that they owed no duty to protect Mr. Chery from the intentional criminal act of a third-party that occurred outside the premises in a circumstance where there was no conduct on the premises that would have put the Red Sox on notice that harm was imminent. After reviewing the record, which included a video of the murder captured on Fenway Park’s surveillance cameras, the Court allowed the Red Sox’s summary judgment motion, finding that the Red Sox had no legal duty to protect Mr. Chery from intentional criminal conduct that occurred entirely outside the premises.
The case was significant in that it illustrated the outer boundary as to where a landowner’s duty must reasonably end.