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South Shore company wants to get paid for work it did for the city of Boston - in 1998

A Hingham company that says it did some work for the city of Boston back in the last millennium, then somehow forgot to deposit its payment until a few months ago, is suing the city to demand it re-issue a check that a bank will find acceptable.

In its lawsuit, filed today in Suffolk Superior Court, Wayne & Co., a construction and demolition firm, acknowledges Boston paid its $150,000 bill - for unspecified "emergency" work - in 1998, but that it "somehow inadvertently misplaced" the check and only first tried to deposit it in 2023. It says its bank refused to accept the check.

Wayne says both it and its accountant have since asked the city to issue a new check, but that the city has refused. The city also never forwarded the unpaid amount to the state treasurer's unclaimed money fund, from which the company could have recovered the money without suing the city, the suit alleges.

Instead, the company is asking for a jury trial at which to press its claim for payment for its original bill, plus costs, including attorney's fees.

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Comments

First question that pops up into mind is what the statue of limitations on this?

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Wayne & Co., a construction and demolition firm, acknowledges Boston paid its $150,000 bill - for unspecified "emergency" work - in 1998, but that it "somehow inadvertently misplaced" the check and only first tried to deposit it in 2023. It says its bank refused to accept the check.

They think they can win in a court case when they do not deny their own financial negligence. How is it even possible to "misplace" a $150.000 check for 25 years? That is not a paltry some of money.

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You'd be surprised.

My wife found a 1000$ check in her desk recently. Too old to cash so (unlike these folks) too bad for us. She'd mixed it up with another check from the same payer and thought it was deposited, then put it in a drawer and forgot.

So depending on how much money this company is pulling in, 150k may or may not be in the "we thought that was already paid" column. Finding the physical check was the only clue it wasn't.

However the answer is to throw your arms up and learn a lesson, not sue the city, lol. Was the unclaimed funds thing even around in the late 90s?

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As a small business owner myself, I can't understand losing a check of any magnitude. At the same time, the City should have forwarded the funds to unclaimed property. That they didn't makes the whole thing weird. I wonder if this is going to be one of those instances where all kinds of financial/ accounting shenanigans get uncovered that would have stayed covered if the City had just paid these people what they were owed.

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The trough is closed.
The con is over.

Maybe next time, Wayne.

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