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Justice: Justice Salinger.

In a case concerning allegedly unfair student loan collection practices, Judge Salinger concluded that a Pennsylvania public corporation, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), is a “person” potentially subject to Chapter 93A liability.

In Anesthesia Associates, Judge Salinger rejected the plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction because, in essence, the motion constituted a premature creditor’s bill.

In a case concerning alleged violations of the Massachusetts law governing the involuntary towing of motor vehicles, Judge Salinger concluded that the defendant’s “attempt to ‘pick off’ the named plaintiff did not moot [the plaintiff’s] individual claims or the class action.”

Claim for Breach of Non-Compete Agreement Survives Anti-SLAPP Motion to Dismiss

In a dispute between a former employee and former employer over violation of a non-compete/non-disclosure agreement and other related claims, Judge Salinger denied the employee’s motion to dismiss under Massachusetts’ anti-SLAPP statute, G.L. c. 231, § 59H, finding that none of the employer’s claims were based solely on the employee’s petitioning activity.

“Under Massachusetts law,” Judge Salinger observed in Stone v. Remillard, “a corporation does not owe a fiduciary duty to its shareholders.” In support of that blackletter law, Judge Salinger cited to footnote three of Merola v. Exergen Corp., 423 Mass. 461 (1996).

Gold’s Gym Debt Collector Escapes Chapter 93A Liability Where No ‘Separate’ and ‘Distinct’ Injury Alleged

Judge Salinger granted summary judgment in favor of a defendant that violated Massachusetts debt collection law where a plaintiff failed to show an injury “separate” and “distinct” from the regulatory violation.

America’s Test Kitchen Faces Abuse of Process Claim

America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) commenced suit against Christopher Kimball, who used to work for ATK. The lawsuit arises from Kimball’s development of a competing business. ATK also sued William Thorndike, Jr. According to ATK, Thorndike misappropriated confidential information and aided and abetted Kimball’s breach of fiduciary duty.

Judge Salinger denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General against Equifax. The lawsuit stems from the massive Equifax data breach of 2017.

From footnote two of Massachusetts v. Equifax:

On June 11, the Boston Bar Association hosted its annual “Business Litigation Session Year in Review.” The BLS judges, including incoming Judge Brian Davis (who is taking over for Judge Leibensperger in BLS1), shared tips and other thoughts for attorneys practicing in the BLS to consider.

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