Successful Outcomes

Sucessfully defended Town of Braintree from a preliminary injunction seeking to halt a school construction project.

Enterprise Equipment Co., Inc. v. Town of Braintree:

Norfolk Superior Court, C.A. No. 09-1784.  In this case, P&A attorneys Christopher Petrini and Peter Mello successfully defended the Town of Braintree from a prospect bidder’s request for a preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin the Town from proceeding with the use of a project labor agreement in connection with approximately $3.5 million worth of renovations at South Middle School.  This outcome was significant given the existence of a high legal standard, articulated in John T. Callahan & Sons, Inc. v. City of Malden, 430 Mass. 124 (1999), which often is construed to bar the use of such project labor agreements.

Successfully negotiated a new 20-year Intermunicipal Agreement (IMA) with the Town of Ashland for sewage transport, securing a $1,000,000 settlement and $600,000 in annual payments to the client Town of Framingham

Ashland Sewer Litigation:

After a trial spanning several days, the Department of Telecommunications and Energy found in favor of the Town of Framingham and modified the sewage transport rate paid by the Town of Ashland to Framingham under a 1963 Intermunicipal Agreement. This decision, along with a subsequent new Intermunicipal Agreement, resulted in retroactive payment of $1 million by Ashland to Framingham, plus an increase in payments by Ashland to Framingham for operations and maintenance from $5,500 annually to approximately $800,000-1,000,000 annually.

Obtained favorable summary judgment decision for Town of Framingham, in which Court (O’Toole, J.) agreed that Framingham had established a qualifying 24-day period pursuant to 29 U.S.C. §207(k) in 1986, thus dramatically limiting Town of Framingham’s potential exposure.

Calvao, et al. v. Town of Framingham:

This case is a federal class-action lawsuit commenced in 2005 by approximately 100 Framingham patrol officers alleging that the Town failed to appropriately compute and pay overtime wages as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. §§201-219. The Town contends that it complied with the FLSA pursuant to payments made to the officers under the terms of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement. An important issue in this case is the proper work period to be used in calculating required overtime sums. The Town contends that at all relevant times it had an established 24-day work period whereby the officers were entitled to FLSA overtime only for time worked in excess of 147 hours over a 24-day work period, in accordance with a formula set forth under applicable federal Regulations. The officers have argued that the operative threshold should be 40 hours within a given week, such that they would be entitled to overtime pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 each week. The Town moved for summary judgment on this key issue early in 2008. On July 2, 2008, the Court issued an order that the Town had effectively established a 24-day work period under the FLSA. This decision represents an important victory for the Town, potentially saving it from substantial liability. This decision is under appeal before the First Circuit.

Secured a favorable court ruling requiring development owner to pay for trash removal and awarding $340,344.00, plus additional interest, to the client in connection with the Town’s trash pickup over a preceding three year period.

Pelham Apartments Litigation:

In this case, the owners of Pelham Apartments had filed an action in April, 2002 seeking to enjoin the Town from discontinuing trash pick-up. The injunction was denied and Pelham paid the estimated cost of weekly pick-up into an escrow account. Town answered complaint and filed a counterclaim to recover the cost of trash pickup from 1999-2002. In 2003, we moved for summary judgment on Pelham’s claims and in our favor on the counterclaims. The Court allowed the Town’s motion in full. After the motion was allowed, trash service to Pelham Apartments was discontinued in early August, saving in excess of $100,000 per year. Decision allowed Town to avoid the substantial annual cost of providing future trash collection to Pelham. After the award of summary judgment, the monies deposited by Pelham into the escrow account (totaling approximately $100,000) were turned over to the Town and deposited in the General Fund. In the Fall of 2003 we had three hearings to prove the Town’s damages on the counterclaim in accordance with the summary judgment decision. Obtained judgment in favor of the Town in the amount of $340,344.00, plus additional interest.

Procured a favorable ruling reinforcing power of Fire Chief to Enforce regulations despite federal legal impediments.

General Chemical Corporation v. Town of Framingham:

Defeated a preliminary injunction request of General Chemical Corporation preventing the Town from enforcing its fire protection regulations and orders. After review of lengthy submissions and affidavits, and after hearing oral arguments, the Superior Court denied General Chemical’s motion for a preliminary injunction on July 29, 2004, finding that General Chemical had failed to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits. This decision was an important vindication of the power of the fire chief under local and state law to enforce applicable public safety and police power regulations notwithstanding the existence of formidable federal interstate commerce principles and claims arising under federal regulations issued by the Department of Transportation. The case was dismissed without prejudice at the request of General Chemical in January, 2005.

Secured victory over Mall Developer in Sewer Use Litigation.

General Growth Properties Litigation:

In this litigation against General Growth Properties challenging the developer’s installation of private sewer lines in and adjacent to a sewer easement on General Growth’s property within which the client Town’s sewer lines were installed, the Court issued an order of permanent injunction against General Growth, requiring that the developer install its sewer lines in a manner that would not unreasonably interfere with the Town’s use of and enjoyment of the easement, and further requiring the developer to assume the cost of future repairs to the Framingham sewer lines within the easement in the areas where the private lines crossed the Framingham sewer lines, without proof of causation of responsibility. The developer also agreed to assume certain costs of monitoring the installation of the private sewer lines that had been incurred by the Town Department of Public Works, and further agreed to record instruments at the Middlesex (South) Registry of Deeds establishing certain relocated sewer easements.

Obtained a favorable Court ruling upholding a town wide smoking ban.

Framingham Restaurant Association v. Town of Framingham and Board of Health:

Town Counsel successfully defeated a request by the Restaurant Association for a preliminary injunction in May of 2003 preventing Framingham from implementing a 100% bar and restaurant smoke-free ban. Action dismissed with prejudice in November of 2003.

Settled case for water district against surety, resulting in the District’s retention of all earned and unearned contract balances along with a $425,000 payment by the Surety.

Tritown Board of Water Commissioners v. Centennial Insurance Company, et al.:

The firm also recently successfully settled a large construction matter on behalf of the Tritown Water Commissioners, a quasi public agency representing Braintree, Holbrook and Randolph. After a general contractor abandoned performance of the underlying project, the firm brought suit against the surety company and the contractor. The complaint alleged damages arising from the contractor’s abandonment of the project and the surety’s failure to comply with its obligations under a performance bond. After filing the case and litigating the matter through discovery, the firm represented the client at a mediation and obtained a settlement worth seventy percent of the client’s alleged damages in the matter.

Defeated developer seeking to circumvent the local wetlands review process by filing substituted revised plans while on appeal.

Winch Pond Trust Fafard Conservation Commission litigation:

This case arises from the Conservation Commission’s 1999 denial of an order of conditions requested by the developer, Winch Pond Trust, seeking permission to construct a wetlands crossing bridge on Winch Street to ultimately construct a subdivision of between 40-45 homes. Winch Pond Trust appealed the Conservation Commission’s denial of the order of conditions to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and obtained a Superseding Order of Conditions from the DEP allowing the work to proceed as proposed. (The developer also appealed the Commission’s decision under the bylaw to the Superior Court, and this certiorari bylaw appeal is pending.) The Town appealed the Superseding Order of Conditions issued by the DEP. In 2004, the Town opposed the Trust’s motion to substitute a revised plan showing certain changes to the wetlands crossing plan different from the plan first shown to the Conservation Commission in 1999. After hearing oral argument, the Administrative Law Judge ruled that the Trust must either proceed under the original plan or file a new notice of intent with the Conservation Commission. The Administrative Law Judge later denied the developer’s motion to submit the revised plan to the Commission for limited review. In January of 2005, counsel for the Trust indicated that the Trust would file a new notice of intent with the Conservation Commission on or about February 18, 2005, thus effectively starting over at the Commission level. The requirement that the applicant file a full new notice of intent before the Commission was a significant procedural victory for the Town.

Helped settle longstanding litigation between the client Town of Framingham and Comcast, securing capital payments to the Town and the newly created Public Access Corporation (PAC) of sums totaling $375,000.

Comcast Settlement:

Under the terms of the settlement, Comcast also agreed to:

  1. Pay 5% of its annual revenue stream to the Town or PAC for purposes of offering public, educational or government cable programming;
  2. Provide continued free cable service to the Town and School Department; and
  3. Convey its existing studio equipment and mobile production van to the Town.

Resolved license breach proceedings instituted against RCN, resulting in a payment of $100,000 by RCN to the client Town of Framingham.

RCN Settlement:

RCN also agreed to forgive and forego credits in the amount of $55,335 owed by the Town.

Header Image