Cable Contractor Crushes Homeowners' Water Line - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the April 2001 Juniper Berry Magazine

Cable Contractor Crushes Homeowners' Water Line

RCN Telecom received the rights to lay cable through our community. Carlo Lizza & Sons did excavating work under contract for RCN Telecom to lay pipes for cablewires; when digging, a water main pipe of a house on Caldwell Avenue, owned by Joe and Josephine Lume, got mangled and twisted. The pipe did not burst, but water pressure for the house was reduced considerably. At first the foreman told Josephine that there was no need to repair anything and that he did not think there would ever be a problem. Then, upon Josephine's insistence, he said he would send a plumber to fix the part of the pipe that got crushed.

When contractor started filling the ditch with dirt again, Josephine asked when the plumber was coming. The contractor said if they called him to repair it right away it would be on an emergency basis, hard to get, and very costly. Not to worry, he would make sure to send a plumber. He gave me a business card and kept covering the pipes, said Josephine. At that point her husband, Joe, came home from work and wanted to take pictures of the pipe but got into a very heated argument with the foreman because the contractor did not want pictures taken. Joe took pictures anyway including photos of the work trucks which had no commercial plates, but regular passenger plates.

From November 17th to 22nd Josephine called the office of the contractor in Hicksville, Long Island and kept leaving messages that went unanswered.

On November 22nd, Josephine called the field office of RCN, listed on the permits that were posted on the street. She spoke to someone who said he would make sure someone from Carlo Lizza called her.The contractor did call that night and promised to get a plumber out the following week.

But no one every showed. Over the next month Josephine called Lizza several times and finally they promised to have a plumber at the house on December 4th. However that appointment was canceled at the last minute with the contractor claiming that their equipment "broke. Josephine called several more times to have the repairs rescheduled but no further dates were set. She again called around New Year's and he said they could not work with all the snow. She called again later in January and no one responded.

Finally the Lume's had enough. They filed small claims action against Carlo Lizza and Sons. A court date was set for February 8th in Nassau County. The Lume's trekked to the court house on the 8th but the contractor, Carlos Lizza and Sons, did not show. The Lume's case was heard by the judge and they won the full amount of the damage. Judgment will be filed against Carlo Lizza for $2300. Now all Joe and Josephine Lume have to do is collect.

After Josephine called the Juniper Park Civic helpline, JPCA president, Bob Holden called RCN to complain how the Lume's where treated. Within two weeks, Mr. and Mr.s Lume received a check for the full judgement, $2,300.