The state Attorney General's office said today it's sued Peggy O'Neil's, 1310 Dorchester Ave., for alleged civil-rights violations.
The suit alleges that on at least three occasions - the most recent this past April - bouncers made a point of keeping minorities out while letting in whites. The state alleges that on one night in December, bar owner Caron O'Neil herself blocked two men of Cape Verdean and African-American descent from entering, telling them she did not "want any trouble." Then later that night:
Court: Condo managers who dragged feet fixing roof leaks can't claim statute of limitations has run outBy adamg - 8/15/11 - 11:09 am
The Massachusetts Appeals Court today reinstated a Chelsea condo owner's lawsuit against her condo trust and management company over leaks she said were so bad she had mushrooms growing on her doorframe and she eventually had to flee the unit on her doctor's advice.
Amtrak blames a Somerville trucking company for a truck/train crash in Maine last month that killed the truck driver, injured several passengers and did millions of dollars in damage to the Downeaster train.
In a lawsuit filed yesterday in US District Court, Amtrak says Triumvirate Environmental, Inc. should never have let Peter Barnum behind the wheel of a tractor trailer hauling trash because "it knew or should have known was unqualified to operate the Kenworth
tractor trailer combination."
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today police cannot pull convicted sex offenders out of nursing or rest homes without giving them a chance to make their case to stay there.
The ruling comes in the case of an elderly Boston man, identified only as John Doe, whom Boston Police sought to have evicted from an unnamed rest home because of his status as a "Level 3" or high-risk sex offender, for acts committed against two children in 1992.
The state's highest court said, however, that because the law would deprive the man of certain rights - such as his right to move about the state freely under the state constitution - it violates his fundamental right to due process by not letting him try to make the case that he would not pose a threat:
Boston-based Hearts on Fire charges De Beers Diamond Jewellers is trying to muscle in on one of its trademarks.
In a lawsuit filed yesterday in US District Court, Hearts on Fire charges De Beers stooped so low as to try to get Hearts on Fire's "Sublime" trademark revoked so it could mine the market with its own "Sublime Symmetry" mark.
Hearts on Fire is seeking an end to De Beers's alleged infringement, all the profits it's made from using it and, of course, lots of additional carats' worth of money.
A woman whose boyfriend brought her computer into a Best Buy store to fix a virus problem alleges at least one technician spent some time perusing photos showing her in "positions demonstrating personal situations" while the computer was in the shop.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court today upheld a Boston Public Health Commission ban on the sale of cigar wraps, saying the commission has a legitimate public-health reason for trying to keep the green leafy material out of the hands of young people.
A group of wrap manufacturers had sued to overturn the regulation, charging the commission was violating manufacturers' constitutional rights - and those of the young black men the group said were the predominant purchasers of the product.
The court ruled the racial-discrimination argument moot because the companies had not raised it in their original suit in Suffolk Superior Court, but only on appeal after losing there. The appeals court then, however, went on at some length to dismiss the argument:
A Mississippi woman charges Boston and Cambridge companies conspired with AOL to figure out how to track consumers online even if they turned all their cookies off and has, of course, sued them.
In a lawsuit filed yesterday in US District Court in Boston, Sandra Person Burns charges Brightcove of Cambridge and ScanScout of Boston figured out a way to use Flash on her computer to track her Web activity for year. She is seeking to become the lead plaintiff in a class-action suit against the two companies and AOL, which uses their platforms. The suit claims damages of more than $5 million.
Boston Gliders, which leads tourists on Segway visits around downtown and the North End, yesterday filed a federal lawsuit to try to block the city's new regulations on Segways and similar wheeled devices.
Ars Technica reports a federal appeals court this week heard arguments in a lawsuit involving the arrest of a Boston lawyer who used his cellphone to record what he said were police punching a suspect on Boston Common in 2007.
Many states have "one-party notification" wiretapping laws that allow any party to a conversation to secretly record it. But under the strict "two-party notification" laws in Massachusetts, it's a crime to "secretly record" audio communications unless "all parties to such communication" have given their consent. The police arrested [Simon] Glik for breaking this law. For good measure, they also charged Glik—who did no more than stand a few feet away with his cell phone—with "aiding the escape of a prisoner" and "disturbing the peace."
After the charges were dismissed, Glik, with help from the ACLU, sued the city and the officers. The appeals court will decide whether the officers have "qualified immunity" from the suit because they were performing their duties at the time.
A federal appeals court today overturned a verdict that would have awarded skycaps at American the $2-per-bag fee American started charging for curbside service in 2005.
A jury agreed with skycaps that their tips fell precipitously because passengers thought the fee was a mandatory "tip" and that they didn't have to give skycaps anything extra. American noted the airline put up signs that the fee was a fee, not a gratuity. The court agreed:
It is argued to us that American's conduct is no different than if the airline put out a jar labeled "tips" at the skycap counter and then appropriated the money dropped inside. American, however, did not tell customers that they were paying $2 per bag as a tip to skycaps; it said on posters identifying American Airlines as the patron that this was a charge for curbside baggage service, adding (when prompted) that a "gratuity" was not included. Whether or not some passengers ignored the sign, property theft was not involved.
A federal appeals court ruled today the state Department of Corrections has to provide hormone treatments to a person it's holding indefinitely as sexually dangerous.
Sandy Battista's request for female hormones has dragged on for more than 15 years now.
The Learning Co., publisher of the game that has introduced generations of schoolkids to the concept of mortality, is suing Zynga, operator of the game that lets their parents grow virtual vegetables, to prevent it from launching a Facebook game focusing on an overland journey to Oregon in the 1800s.
The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston said it couldn't fathom why the Coast Guard would attempt to deep six a Massachusetts law intended to protect Buzzards Bay from oil spills without providing a single shred of evidence there was anything wrong with the law.
The Boston Licensing Board voted today to give restaurateur Michael Conlon at least two more months to actually start using the liquor license he was granted in 2007 for a restaurant at the end of Long Wharf that has yet to open.
The Salem News reports on the suit filed yesterday by Samantha Mattei, who suffered a broken back and a concussion when Quinn he crashed his Green Line trolley into a stopped trolley because he was too busy texting to notice it.
Mattei filed her suit the same day the National Transportation Safety Board released its final report on the 2009 crash, basically concluding that texting trolley driver was texting. However, the board also said the accident could have been avoided if the T had an automated system to stop trolleys that go through red signals, like the ones in place on the T's other lines.
In the aftermath of the crash, which did an estimated $10 million in damage, the T banned cell-phone use by train drivers and other employees.
Court: New Hampshire crematory owes Dorchester sisters $200,000 for partially mislabeling mother's ashesBy adamg - 4/26/11 - 12:23 pm
The Massachusetts Appeals Court today upheld a verdict against a crematory that included a certificate with the wrong woman's information on an urn given to two Dorchester women after their mother died in 2003.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that real-estate lawyers need to get over themselves because there are significant part of the sale of property that can be handled by people outside the legal priesthood. Nevertheless, the court added on the whole, complex sales "require not only the presence but the substantive participation of an attorney on behalf of the mortgage lender, and that certain services connected with real property conveyances constitute the practice of law in Massachusetts."
The opinion comes in response to questions from a federal appeals court handling a lawsuit by Massachusetts real-estate attorneys against a Pennsylvania company that performs services for real-estate closings:
Robert Sonia, involved with a melee with off-duty cops and a stripper last spring, has filed a federal lawsuit against the officers and the town of Brookline, alleging they deprived him of his rights by beating him up.
Sonia, a Lynn resident who was working as a driver for an adult-entertainment company, drove a stripper to a Beacon Street apartment for a bachelor party in March, 2010. When the two got to the address, some sort of fight broke out - Sonia charges cops jumped him, beat him and then wouldn't let an ambulance take him to the hospital.
In June, charges against everybody involved in the fight were dropped. At the time, Sonia's attorney said Sonia felt vindicated and just wanted to put the incident behind him.
In his lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Boston, however, Sonia is asking for unspecified damages for the alleged violation of his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
Joseph Gillespie, president of the Boston Police Superior Officers Federation, charges he's been passed over for promotion several times now because he threatened to lead a boycott of the 2004 Democratic National Convention and because he convinced his union to support Michael Flaherty in the 2009 election for mayor.
In a lawsuit filed yesterday in US District Court in Boston, Gillespie charges he's now stuck as a lieutenant even though he tied for seventh on a civil-service exam for captain in 2008 - and had risen to first on the list by 2010. Gillespie alleges the city is now letting captains' positions go unfilled rather than promote him.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today state environmental officials have the right to tell the owners of the Plymouth nuclear plant to take steps to protect fish and other animals from being sucked into the plant's cooling system.
State officials say they don't actually have any plans to order changes, but Entergy Nuclear Generation sued anyway, saying state law only gives the Department of Environmental Protection the right to regulate what comes out at the other end of the cooling process. A lower-court judge agreed, but the state's highest court said that was balderdash.
A Massachusetts woman who claims she is out $57 because of expired Groupon coupons has filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the company and at least two Massachusetts merchants that used it to drum up business.
In her lawsuit, filed yesterday in US District Court in Boston, Jennifer Bates charges the expiration dates on Groupon offers, typically several months, violates a federal credit-card law that requires expiration dates of at least five years.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today the state public-records law does not extend to judicial rulings sealing records held by state agencies.
However, it also said a man seeking a look at some 5.5 million pages of records in a foreclosure-scandal case can try to convince a judge that an order sealing all the documents was overly broad.
A Boston man who claims he was threatened with a lawsuit when he refused to buy software he didn't want has turned around and sued the application's maker for privacy violations, claiming the software "phoned home" and gave a company consultant enough information to track him down.