Citizen complaint of the day: Playground slobs in the Fenway would never be tolerated in the Back Bay

A disgusted citizen files a 311 complaint about trash piling up amid the plantings at the playground at Peterborough and Kilmarnock streets - again - and demands:

Please do more than empty barrel- or force McKinley school to maintain. This would NEVER be allowed to continue if this was in the Back Bay!

Attic fire on Tonawanda Street in Dorchester displaces six

The Boston Fire Department reports a two-alarm fire at 82 Tonawanda St. did an estimated $450,000 in damages and displaced six residents and a dog.

Firefighters responded around 10:48 p.m. on Saturday to the multi-family house. WBZ reports a neighbor noticed the fire and alerted residents to get out.

The cause of the fire, confined to the attic, is under investigation.

Sat, 07/14/2018 - 22:48

Solar-panel company may have picked wrong Brighton man to robo-call

A Brighton resident who says he got an unsolicited robo-call from a Lexington solar-energy company has filed a federal class-action lawsuit against it.

James Lebowitz's lawsuit against Solar Five, filed this week in US District Court in Boston, alleges the call violates the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, because he has no connection with the company and never consented to let it call him.

Lebowitz alleges that on June 18, an automated dialer rang up his cell phone - displaying a "spoofed" 617 number not actually belonging to Solar Five - and that when he was told to press 1 to speak to an operator, he did so to find out who had the temerity to call him.

The person who answered refused to give his name or company, but said that if Lebowitz offered up his name and address, he could save money on his electric bill. Still curious, Lebowitz provided the information, and then got a call from Solar Five, in 781 land, offering to sell him solar panels.

Plaintiff was personally affected because he was frustrated and distressed that Defendant called him on his cell phone without Plaintiff's permission.

Defendant's calls force Plaintiff and class members to live without the utility of their cellular phones by forcing Plaintiff and class members to silence their cellular phones and/or block incoming numbers.

The calls from Defendant's telephone number of Plaintiff's cellular telephone number were unsolicited by Plaintiff and without Plaintiff's permission or consent.

Lebowitz's suit seeks $500 for each such robo-call made by Solar Five's dialer - to a group he estimates to number in the hundreds - plus $1,500 in damages allowed under the federal law for each call.

Lebowitz's complaint (2.5M PDF).

In separate fusillades, two men shot in Cambridge

Cambridge Police report they are investigating two shootings early this morning, about a mile and one hour apart.

Police say a Cambridge man sitting in a car at Cambridge and Fifth streets was shot at 12:17 a.m. He was taken to a local hospital with injuries not considered life threatening. Police say officers found several shell casings.

A Somerville man was shot in the arm at Washington and Cherry streets at 1:23 a.m. He was also taken to a local hospital, and police also found several shell casings at the scene. Two cars and a house were also hit by gunfire.

Anyone with information can call police at 617-349-3300 or send an anonymous text tip to TIP411 (847411) - begin the text with TIP650.

Woman's face sucked into escalator mechanism in mishap at Burlington Macy's, suit alleges

An elderly couple from Burlington is suing both Macy's and its escalator maintenance company for the serious injuries they say they suffered when the railing they were holding onto an up escalator suddenly jerked forward on Oct. 12, 2016 at the Burlington Mall Macy's.

In the negligence lawsuit, originally filed in Middlesex Superior Court, Ruth Irving, 89 at the time of the incident, says she was near the top of the escalator from the first to second floor and holding onto the railing when it jerked forward, throwing her down and causing her face to be dragged into the escalator mechanism, the couple's complaint charges:

As a result, Mrs. Irving was caused to suffer severe lacerations to her left eyelid, forehead, cheek and neck.

Originally taken to Winchester Hospital, she had to be taken to the Lahey Clinic for trauma care and developed atrial fibrillation and needed a pacemaker installed, the suit, which Macy's had transferred to federal court in Boston, alleges.

Her husband, William, 88, was closer to the bottom of the escalator and was also thrown forward, their lawsuit alleges, He tried to get up but fell backwards, hitting his head and losing consciousness and suffering head, neck, knee, hip, elbow and wrist injuries, the complaint charges.

In its response, Macy's says any injuries were due to the couple's own negligence, although it did not detail that allegation.

But in any case, in its response, Macy's filed a crosd complaint against the escalator company, Schindler Elevator Corp., saying that if there were any negligence involved beyond that of the couple, it's entirely Schindler's fault.

Macy's said its contract with Schindler required that company to take full responsibility for any escalator issues and to fully cover any liability expenses arising from them. Macy's said Schindler's broke the contract by not including Macy's in its liability insurance policy.

Schindler has yet to file its answer to either the Irvings' suit or Macy's claim.