Notices of Investigation

Have you been subjected to any of the practices or policies listed below? 
If so we would like to hear from you regarding your experiences.


 

Have You Been or Were You Previously a Delivery Driver, Bartender or Server in Massachusetts?

It is a customary practice in many companies and businesses for employers retain a portion of employee tips.

Under Massachusetts law, in most instances, employers are required to remit the full amount of any tip and/or delivery charge collected from a customer to the staff who provided the service.

 

If you worked as a delivery driver, bartender or server in Massachusetts during the last three years, and believe that you may have had your tips or delivery charges taken or partially withheld by your employer, we would like to hear from you about your experiences.
Please contact us at: souellette@forrestlamothe.com.

 

Has Your Landlord Withheld Any Money From Your Security Deposit?

Landlords often fail to comply with the strict mandates of Massachusetts law requiring that the landlord maintain a record of all security deposits, place the security deposit in a separate interest-bearing account, send the tenant an annual statement which indicates the amount of interest on the security deposit and provide the tenant the full amount of the deposit when the tenancy ends.

Further, landlords often withhold security deposit amounts without properly complying with the notification and withholding detail requirements imposed by law.

If your landlord: (1) withheld any portion of your security deposit; (2) failed to properly handle and document the retention of your security deposit; (3) failed to return your full security deposit with interest; or (4) had monies withheld from your security deposit without receiving a sworn statement detailing the withholdings, we would like to hear from you about your experiences.

Please contact us at: souellette@forrestlamothe.com.

  Have You Been Charged Any Impermissible Fee(s) by Your Landlord?

Massachusetts law strictly prohibits a landlord, or prospective landlord, from charging tenants, or prospective tenants, at or prior to the commencement of any tenancy, anything other than the following: (1) rent for the first full month of occupancy; (2) rent for the last full month of occupancy calculated at the same rate as the first month;(3) a security deposit equal to the first month’s rent; and (4) the purchase and installation cost for a key and lock.

Recently certain landlords have required the payment of a bond at the inception of tenancy instead of first month’s rent or a security deposit. This practice is not enumerated as an allowed charge under Massachusetts law, and, accordingly, may constitute an attempt to circumvent the basic protections given to tenants.

If your landlord has required a bond or the payment of monies other than security deposit or last month’s rent at the inception of your tenancy, we would like to hear from you about your experiences.

Please contact us at: souellette@forrestlamothe.com.

Have You Purchased a Subway Sandwich With “Chicken”?

Recently, Trent University’s Wildlife Forensic DNA Laboratory released a report showing that the “chicken” sandwiches at Subway only contain roughly 50% chicken DNA.

Although Subway advertises itself as a healthy option in fast food, their chicken sandwich had a much lower percentage chicken than other fast food chains.

If you have purchased an oven roasted chicken sandwich or a chicken strips sandwich at Subway, we would like to hear from you about your experiences.

Please contact us at: souellette@forrestlamothe.com.

Have You Been Misclassified as an “Independent Contractor”?

Many employers misclassify individuals that work for them as independent contractors to avoid holiday pay, vacation pay, overtime, workers compensation and other benefits. This practice constitutes a violation of Massachusetts law.

Painters, construction workers, drywall workers, massage therapists and hair and nail salon workers are often misclassified as independent contractors when they should be classified as employees.

If you have been classified as an independent contractor by an employer in the last three years, we would like to hear from you about your experiences.

Please contact us at: souellette@forrestlamothe.com.

Have You Received Unrequested Solicitations Via Cellphone or Fax?

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA “) forbids unsolicited robocalls and unwanted calls, text messages and faxes.

Numerous companies continue to violate the TCPA and Do Not Call Registry. If you have received unwanted calls, texts or faxes, we would like to hear from you about your experiences.

Please contact us at: souellette@forrestlamothe.com.

 

Have You Purchased a Product and Later Discovered You Received Less Than the Packaging Led You to Believe?

If you have purchased an item you believe was packaged in a manner to deceive you into believing you were purchasing more than you received, we would like to hear from you about your experiences.

Have you ever opened a bag of potato chips and found that more than half of the bag is empty? Have you ever popped open a huge vitamin bottle only to find a few pills at the bottom? If so, you may be a victim of a non-functional slack fill violation – a form of false advertising.

Slack fill is empty space in packaging meant to deceive consumers into believing they are receiving more product than they actually are. In some instances, this empty space can have legitimate purpose, such as protection of the contents of the package or unavoidable settling of the product during shipping and handling.

However, often manufacturers have no legitimate reason for having a massive amount of empty space in their products other than to mislead consumers that there is a larger volume of the product contained within the package. Companies often use this misleading tactic so that they can sell their goods at higher prices, often with greater profit margins. This practice is especially virulent in the vitamin, supplement, cosmetic, and health and wellness markets.
Please contact us at: souellette@forrestlamothe.com.

 

Have You Purchased Tickets for a Sporting or Entertainment Event and Been Charged a Convenience or Service Fee?

Many ticketing facilities and venues advertise a ticket “face value” for entrance and/or attendance to sporting events. Many of these vendors and facilities also charge an inescapable “convenience fee” and/or “processing charge”, which increases the overall price of the ticket well beyond the face value.

These fees are often not included in the advertised price of the ticket and in most cases are not revealed until the final stage of the transaction.

If you purchased a ticket to a sporting or other entertainment event within the last four years, and a “convenience fee” or “processing charge” was also charged, we would like to hear from you about your experiences.

Please contact us at: souellette@forrestlamothe.com.

 

Have You Been or Were You Previously an Employee Driver for a Limousine or Charter Service in Massachusetts?

Many limousine and charter service companies charge, or pre-charge, customers a driver gratuity and/or tip in connection with transportation services. Under Massachusetts law, in most instances these limousine and charter service companies are required to remit the full amount of any gratuity and/or tip collected from a customer to the driver who provided the related transportation service.

If you worked as a driver or chauffeur for a Massachusetts limousine and charter service in the last three years, we would like to hear from you about your experiences.

Please contact us at: souellette@forrestlamothe.com.

Have You Purchased One of the Following Sunscreen Products: Banana Boat Kids Tear-Free,

Sting-Free Lotion or CVS Brand Kids Sun Lotion?

Recently, the researchers at Consumer Reports evaluated several sunscreen products, including the products listed above, and determined that many sunscreen products offer far less SPF protection than the labels advertise and promise.

If you purchased one or more of the listed products in Massachusetts, we would like to hear about your experiences.

Please contact us at: souellette@forrestlamothe.com.

Have You Purchased a Prepared Meal Or Bulk Item From Whole Foods Market or Another Food Market and Believe You Were Overcharged?

When customers purchase many prepared meals at Whole Foods or other food markets, these stores often weigh the product at the register and then price the item according to its overall weight. Recently, an investigation by the State of New York revealed that Whole Foods had improperly priced some of its prepackaged foods based upon the weight represented to the consumer. In some cases, consumers overpaid for products.

If you purchased one or more prepared meals or bulk items at a Whole Foods grocery store in Massachusetts, we would like to hear about your experiences.

Please contact us at: souellette@forrestlamothe.com.

Has Your Car Been Towed Recently?

Towing companies in Massachusetts are strictly limited as to the amounts they can charge for towing vehicles to their tow yards.

These limitations include the amount they can charge per mile, the amount they can charge for fuel surcharges and the amounts they charge for storage. Furthermore, in order to charge certain fees, towing companies must also provide the tow recipient with certain mandatory information on their tow slip.

Towing companies are prohibited from charging additional charges not permitted by law.

Forrest, LaMothe, Mazow, McCullough, Yasi & Yasi, P.C. is presently investigating certain towing companies’ practice of charging impermissible amounts for mailing notification of a tow to the tow recipient. We are also investigating several companies for failing to provide certain required information to tow recipients on their tow slip. We believe that these practices unlawfully inflate the bill customers are later forced to pay.

If you have recently been towed by a Massachusetts towing company and received a notice or tow slip by mail or otherwise, we would like to hear about your experiences.

Please contact us at: souellette@forrestlamothe.com.

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About Forrest, LaMothe, Mazow, McCullough, Yasi & Yasi, PC.

Forrest, LaMothe, Mazow, McCullough, Yasi & Yasi, PC. is a consumer protection and advocacy law firm investigating the matters described herein. The only purpose of this communication is to gather information about these matters and does not constitute a solicitation or establish an attorney-client relationship.

Contact:

Forrest, LaMothe, Mazow, McCullough, Yasi & Yasi, P.C. │2 Salem, Green, Suite 2 │Salem, MA 01970 │(617) -231-7829 │info@forrestlamothe.com