Articles Posted in MBTA Accidents

As a Massachusetts catastrophic injury attorney, I see the real-life consequences of a lot of terrible accidents that were caused by someone else’s negligence.  I see these consequences in the eyes and the lives of my clients, who have to bear these consequences, sometimes for the rest of their lives.  Often these catastrophic accidents involve the death of the victim, and that is always a tragedy.

But each case is unique, and sometimes the tragedy is even more pronounced.  That appears to be the case in the death of Robinson Lalin, a 39 year-old father of five children.  Mr. Lalin was killed this past Sunday early morning when, according to all reports as of today, his arm became trapped in a Red Line subway car as it exited the Broadway T Station.  According to reports, Mr. Lalin was dragged to the end of the platform to his death, his arm being severed before his torso was crushed by the train’s exterior walls.  The damage to his body was so severe that his funeral services will reportedly not allow for an open casket.

Mr. Lain’s family is demanding answers from the T as to how this horrific event could have happened.  And so far, they aren’t getting much.  The T has reportedly only issued comments that both the operator of the train involved, and the train car itself, have been “removed from service.”  Other than that, the T has been tight-lipped.  The federal National Transportation Safety Board has now become involved.

As a Westwood accident attorney, I see many cases of negligence, wrongful death, and motor vehicle accidents. Yet, many people mistakenly believe, “It could never happen to me.” I don’t know why so many people have that attitude, because life is unexpected, and injuries can happen almost everywhere, every day, and especially when you least expect it.

I’m still shaking my head at the hit-and-run car-pedestrian accident on Washington Street by Roche Brothers in Westwood that occurred this summer. Every time I drive on that road, I think of the innocent victim. The woman who was struck by the car was listed in critical condition, and her dog, which she was walking, was killed. You can read my previous blog post on this subject, which I wrote about, on June 19.

Today my sympathies go out to the middle-aged man who officials say was apparently trespassing on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Commuter Rail tracks between the Islington and Norwood Depot train stations. He was struck and killed by an outbound train, in Norwood, on August 30, according to officials.

Yesterday’s Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority bus accident, and a parked movie trailer, injured 15 people, although none of the passengers was seriously injured. This illustrates how many people can be injured in a single bus accident

As a Boston injury attorney, I know that an MBTA bus accident such as this one could have had devastating consequences.

The MBTA bus was operating on Route 28. It had just left Dudley Station and was headed south on Dudley Street, near to where the road curves around the Boston Public Library’s Dudley Branch. Ahead stood a 45-foot movie trailer, which stood in the parking lane in front of the Roxbury Municipal Court. By all accounts it was legally parked.

It’s a sign of the times. Too many people text on their phones while driving, and that includes Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority drivers, who man the trolleys in Boston.

Trolley operator Aiden Quinn admitted to authorities that he was texting his girlfriend, when the MBTA trolley he was driving in 2009 slammed into the back of another train in an underground tunnel in Boston, resulting in a very serious MBTA accident.

One of the passengers on that train, a Ms. Colleen Fyffe was so injured from this accident that she was unable to return to her job withDelta Air Lines at Logan International Airport. She was awarded $1.23 Million in financial damages from a Suffolk Superior Court jury. But the back story gets even more interesting: Ms. Fyffe’s case went to civil trial after she turned down a $100,000 settlement from the MBTA. And think about this – there have been about 24 lawsuits filed in conjunction with this crash, and most of them have been settled for an average of about $31,000 each. That’;s no surprise. Most defendants in Massachusetts personal injury cases offer very little to settle the case out of court.

As a Westwood, Massachusetts car accident attorney, I’ll restate something I’ve emphasized previously: In Massachusetts (as in almost every other state) the highest statistical odds of a person being injured, involve a motor vehicle accident of some kind, whether it involves a two-car accident in Dedham, or a pedestrian-car accident in Westwood, a car-truck accident, or a car-bike accident, or a Route 128 motorcycle-car accident. Even if you don’t drive a car, your risk of being injured as a pedestrian is relatively high. It’s a fact of modern life.

Aside from just “car accidents,” there is another type of motor vehicle accident that people can be injured in: A bus accident, or MBTA accident. There was just such an accident yesterday in the town where live and practice law, in Westwood, Massachusetts.

There was an MBTA bus crash on East Street in Westwood, but thankfully no one was injured. The Westwood bus accident occurred underneath a commuter rail bridge on East Street in Islington, a section of Westwood. According to local residents, the East Street bridge is the site of accidents on almost a weekly basis. The bridge has a big sign on it warning of low clearance, but apparently that does not deter commercial buses and trucks from driving under it, even if they’re not sure they can make the clearance.

Most people that I know, if they were asked about how you could get injured by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA,) would not mention the word “bicycle.” But they’d be wrong. Last week. there was just such an accident – an MBTA-bicycle accident – in downtown Salem, Massachusetts. A Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) bus struck a man riding his bicycle and left him with serious injuries and trauma.

The injured man, Philip Moran, was crossing from Federal Street in Salem to Washington Street. He was struck by a Route 544 bus, whose right front end hit him. Making my point of just how serious such accidents can be, this man is now in critical condition at Massachusetts General Hospital. That should come as no surprise: In a bus-bicycle accident, you’ve got two tons of steel and glass slamming into an unprotected human body, riding something that weighs about two pounds.

As a Boston MBTA accident lawyer, I can tell you that accidents such as this one might have been caused by bad weather conditions or even operator, conductor and driver error, which can include cell phone usage, texting, and even operator intoxication.

Here’s some bad news. If you’ve been injured in a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) accident, due to a bus and trolley crash, slip and fall, escalator mishap, or other accident, and you file a lawsuit against the transit agency, you may soon find that your damage awards may be capped at $100,000.

That’s because the “T” wants to limit its personal injury awards to the same cap of $100,000 that is imposed on similar judgments against other state agencies, towns, and cities. The damages would be capped if a bill, which is now before the Massachusetts Legislature, passes.

This proposed tort reform bill would assure that the T’s liability would be identical to anyone who, say, happened to sue the city of Boston due to getting hit by one of its police cars, for example. If this tort reform measure goes is passed into law, the cash-strapped transit agency claims it would save about $4 million annually. As a Boston MBTA accident lawyer, I highly doubt this claim. This agency, as anyone can see from its current and persistent budget woes, has never managed well any monies it has ever been given.