Success Stories

Establishing Prescriptive Easement Rights Over Driveway

Mongeau v. Masonic Building Association of Uxbridge

Worcester Superior Court

1785CV00315

This bench (jury-waived) trial focused on our clients’ use of a driveway that ran over part of the defendant’s land in downtown Uxbridge. Defendant had started to block access to the driveway in 2016, leading our clients to seek a declaration from the court as to their prescriptive easement rights to pass over the defendant’s land for purposes of entering and exiting their property. In order to establish prescriptive easement rights, a party must prove at least 20 years of open, continuous, adverse (non-permissive) notorious use of the land in question. The defendant counterclaimed for trespass as our clients had, in 2012, covered the driveway area with reground asphalt. The Court found that our clients testified credibly at trial to their family’s use of the driveway for over 60 years, and awarded them the requested easement while dismissing the defendant’s counterclaim. The judgment allows our clients, their heirs and/or any future parties who buy our clients’ property to continue to legally utilize the driveway without disturbance.

Proving Contractor’s Right to Payment on Homeowner’s Insurance Claim

Belfor USA Group Inc. v. Porter

Stoughton District Court
2017CV75

In this District Court matter, our office represented the plaintiff contractor, which had performed emergency restoration services at the defendant’s home pursuant to an express written contract with the defendant.  The defendant’s counterclaims for consequential damages resulting from delay on the project were dismissed prior to trial.  After a two day trial on the plaintiff’s claims for breach of contract and quantum meruit, our office successfully proved that the plaintiff had performed work outside the scope of the defendant’s homeowners’ insurance policy, for which the defendant was responsible to pay.  The jury verdict awarded all damages requested by the plaintiff.  After trial, the parties reached an agreed-upon judgment that was paid promptly and included the plaintiff’s attorney’s fees, costs and interest on the principal balance.

Specific Performance of Commercial Real Estate Purchase and Sale Agreement

Ferreira v. Oxford Realty & Trust, LLC et al.

Worcester Superior Court
1785CV01734

Our office filed suit on behalf of a commercial tenant in Milford, who operated a diner on the premises and had contracted to purchase the property after a short-term rental. Under the parties’ original purchase and sale agreement, the tenant had deposited approximately 23% of the purchase price during her rental term.  After closing on the property was forestalled due to outstanding requests for c. 21E (hazardous waste) documentation, the property owner refused a short-term extension of closing and demanded some $65,000 more from our client in order to purchase the property.

Our office filed suit in Superior Court for specific performance of the purchase and sale agreement or, in the alternative, the return of deposits paid by our client pursuant to the purchase and sale agreement.  We successfully obtained a preliminary injunction from the Worcester Superior Court (1) precluding the owner from selling the property until our litigation was concluded, (2) consolidating any eviction action subsequently filed by the owner with our suit and (3) establishing a temporary monthly rent for the property that was approximately 25% of what the owner was seeking.

The defendant soon returned to court with a request to modify the Court’s rent order.  On behalf of our client, we obtained a commercial real estate expert to assess the property in question and draft a report on the property’s fair market value.  The defendant’s modification request was denied. The defendant then filed a summary process action to evict our client from the premises, however, our suit for specific performance and the injunctive order previously entered by the court precluded this action from being expedited for trial.

Faced with a compromised rent order, increasing litigation costs and significant legal exposure, the defendant property owner agreed to convey the property to our client on highly favorable terms, including the credit of all deposits previously paid.  An expedited closing on the property was consummated within days of reaching agreement.

Class Action Settlement – Failure to Pay Prevailing Wages

Maracallo et als. v. Patriots Environmental Corp. et als.

Worcester Superior Court
1585CV00554-B

In this case, three closely-held asbestos abatement contractors and their common owners (the defendants) operated an employee retirement fund into which a certain percentage of prevailing wages earned by employees (our clients) was supposed to be deposited.  These wages were earned by our clients from work they performed on public construction projects throughout Massachusetts.

Instead, the defendants withheld these wages while indicating on employee payroll statements that the deposits had, in fact, been made. As a result, our clients were deprived of more than $320,000 in retirement contributions, plus interest.

Our office filed a putative class action in April of 2015, and, shortly thereafter, a payment of $120,000 was made to the plaintiff class representatives and certain other members of the putative class. A class action was certified by the Worcester Superior Court in September 2015.

In April 2016, the Court approved a class action settlement proposed by the parties, which called for additional payments totaling $262,000 to be made to our clients.

After the defendants failed to consummate settlement pursuant to the Court’s order, our office obtained a real estate attachment on a piece of commercial property owned by the defendants’ real estate holding company, which was added to the class action suit.  This property was sold in December of 2016, resulting in full payment to our clients pursuant to the Court’s settlement order.

Successful Appeal of Federal Workers’ Compensation Benefits Denial

Remillard v. United States Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs

U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs

Our office successfully appealed the denial of our client’s continuation of pay benefits from the United States Postal Service. Thereafter, the client was approved by the Department of Labor for a schedule award compensating him for 12% permanent impairment to his upper extremity – within 1% of the disability rating reported by the client’s medical providers.

Extinguishing Easement Rights

Junkala v. DeCarolis Bros., Inc. and its legal successors and assigns

Worcester Superior Court
1585CVO1869

Our office extinguished a substantial easement over the plaintiff landowner’s property under the theories of abandonment and frustration of purpose.

Successful Opposition to Mandatory Arbitration Clause & Limitation of Statutory Payment Bond Remedies

Bridgeline v. Linwood Construction, LLC et al.

Middlesex Superior Court
2014-07133-B

Successfully defended efforts by the defendant general contractor and surety company to compel arbitration of plaintiff subcontractor’s payment bond claim, which would have severely limited the subcontractor’s rights to full recovery. Instead, a six-figure settlement was obtained that compensated the subcontractor client for its full principal and interest, plus attorney’s fees.

Securing Creditor’s Rights in Bankruptcy Court

Weaver v. 89 Commercial Road, LLC

Worcester Superior Court
2014-00977
United States Bankruptcy Court (D. Mass)
2014-41634

Our client was awarded the full principal and interest due to him under a promissory note from the Chapter 11 debtor, following attachment of the debtor’s single asset in state court and the successful re-negotiation of the debtor’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan. Counsel successfully opposed several Chapter 11 plans that were proposed and which would have “crammed down” or otherwise reduced our client’s recovery.

Successful Defense of Unpaid Overtime Claims

Freehart et al. v. Charlton Welding et al.

Worcester Superior Court
2013-0633

Our office successfully moved for summary judgment in favor of the defendant (a commercial trucking company) on all of the plaintiffs’ overtime claims, worth approximately $186,000.00, after the plaintiffs were determined to be exempt from mandatory overtime pay under the state and federal motor carrier exemptions.

Recovery for Commercial Property Damage/Unfair Settlement Practices

Miso, Inc. v. Dias et al.

Worcester Superior Court
2013-01040

Full market value of automotive garage destroyed by gasoline explosion recovered on behalf of property owner from tenant’s out of state insurer. With the assistance of fire recreation and real estate appraisal experts, firm presented compelling evidence of tenant’s negligence and pressed claims for unfair insurance practices in order to secure six-figure settlement prior to trial.