United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION
ZOBEL SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Cummings Properties, LLC leases an office suite in a
commercial building to the Massachusetts Department of
Revenue (“DOR”). A DOR employee has sued
Plaintiff in state court for an alleged slip and fall in the
parking lot of the leased premises. Plaintiff alleges that
defendant Public Service Insurance Company
(“PSIC”) issued a commercial general liability
insurance policy pursuant to which it must defend plaintiff
in the pending state court lawsuit and indemnify plaintiff.
Defendant disclaims as a matter of law any duty to defend or
indemnify and argues that the policy covered the leased
office suite but not the adjacent parking lot where the
incident occurred. Before the court are the parties'
cross-motions for summary judgment. Docket ## 30, 40.
Factual Background 
Lease and Insurance Policy
October 2010, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, on behalf of
DOR, entered a five-year lease with plaintiff for Suite 760
at 100 Trade Center in Woburn, Massachusetts. The lease
required plaintiff, as the landlord, to “use reasonable
efforts to ensure [that] snow and ice are removed from all
entrances, exits, sidewalks, and parking areas before the
hours of operation and during such hours if snow, ice, or
both accumulate.” Docket ## 32 ¶ 7, 34 at 51.
policy in issue covers the period January 20, 2013, to
January 20, 2014, and identifies DOR as the “named
insured.” It states that, subject to various
limitations, defendant will “pay those sums that the
insured becomes legally obligated to pay as damages because
of ‘bodily injury'” and will “defend
the insured against any ‘suit' seeking those
damages.” Docket # 32 ¶ 13. The policy names
plaintiff as an “additional insured, ” “but
only with respect to liability arising out of [DOR's]
operations or premises owned by or rented to [DOR].”
Docket # 42 at 5 (“Additional Insured
endorsement”). This endorsement specifically identifies
Suite 760 as the location for which Plaintiff was the
State Court Lawsuit and Coverage Dispute
January 30, 2013, Joyce Barresi, a DOR employee, allegedly
slipped and fell on ice in the parking lot of 100 Trade
Center. She eventually sued plaintiff in the Massachusetts
Superior Court for breach of its duty to maintain the parking
lot in a reasonably safe condition and claims damages for
incurred and anticipated medical expenses and lost wages.
Joyce A. Barresi v. Cummings Properties, LLC,
1677-CV- 00120 (Mass. Super. Ct., filed Jan. 28, 2016).
sought coverage by defendant as an additional insured under
DOR's policy, but defendant refused. Plaintiff then
filed suit in this court seeking a declaratory judgment that
defendant must defend and indemnify plaintiff in the state
court action (Count I) and damages for breach of contract
judgment is appropriate when the moving party “shows
that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and
the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “An issue is ‘genuine'
for purposes of summary judgment if ‘the evidence is
such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
nonmoving party,' and a ‘material fact' is one
which ‘might affect the outcome of the suit under the
governing law.'” Poulis-Minott v. Smith,
388 F.3d 354, 363 (1st Cir. 2004) (quoting Hayes v.
Douglas Dynamics, Inc., 8 F.3d 88, 90 (1st Cir. 1993)).
for summary judgment do not alter the basic Rule 56 standard,
but rather simply require [the court] to determine whether
either of the parties deserves judgment as a matter of law on
facts that are not disputed.” Ferguson v. Gen. Star
Indem. Co., 582 F.Supp.2d 91, 98 (D. Mass. 2008)
(alteration in original) (quoting Adria Int'l Grp.,
Inc. v. Ferré Dev., Inc., 241 F.3d 103, 107 (1st
Cir. 2001)). “When facing cross-motions for summary
judgment, a court must rule on each motion independently,
deciding in each instance whether the moving party has met
its burden under Rule 56.” Id. (quoting
Dan Barclay, Inc. v. Stewart & Stevenson Servs.,
Inc., 761 F.Supp. 194, 197-98 (D. Mass. 1991)).
of an insurance contract is a question of law appropriately
decided at summary judgment. Cody v. Connecticut Gen.
Life Ins. Co., 439 N.E.2d 234, 237 (Mass. 1982); see
Utica Mut. Ins. Co. v. Herbert H. Landy Ins. Agency,
Inc., 820 F.3d 36, 41 (1st Cir. 2016).
Insurer's Duty to ...