On Monday, May 1, a heavy utility box fell from the ceiling at the Harvard MBTA station, injuring a commuter waiting for her train. These boxes were part of a pilot program that ran from 2011 to 2013 and have been unused since 2013, weighing anywhere from 20 to 30 pounds. As of this writing, there are no reports on the commuter’s condition.
The Boston Globe reports “a similar incident at Harvard Station just two months ago when a ceiling tile weighing more than 20 pounds fell and almost hit a woman.” This latest incident is just one in a list of growing problems for the Red Line, including subway shutdowns, service interruptions, and “widespread slow zones.”
As personal injury attorneys, we know how devastating a serious injury can be – especially injuries to the head, neck, and spine. Our lawyers have been helping injured MBTA riders in Boston for decades. Here are just a few of our latest successes:
- $7,100,000 for a pedestrian who was run over by a bus and suffered a traumatic amputation
- $1,375,000 for a pedestrian who suffered multiple fractures and traumatic brain injury
What happened at the station?
According to a surveillance video from the MBTA, as commuters waited for the train, a woman walked up to a column on the subway platform and also stopped to wait. Soon after, a brace attached to the box fell down and appeared to hit her. The straps had apparently corroded. As of the next day, the fallen equipment had been removed and, per the Globe, general manager Phillip Eng “directed crews to remove the remaining 13 boxes at Harvard, Porter, and Davis stations Tuesday.”
The Globe also spoke to some commuters, including Bekah Carey, who noted, “I was talking to somebody the other day about how other transit systems should be updated. But we were like, here, we just would prefer that things don’t catch on fire or ceilings fall.”
It’s not just commuters at risk
Just last month, the Globe published an article about safety incidents at the MBTA for workers:
In a letter to new T general manager Phillip Eng on Tuesday, the Federal Transit Administration warned that there is a “substantial risk” of a death or injury on the agency’s tracks as dangerous close calls mount, citing recent incidents and reports of hazardous conditions from the T’s state oversight agency, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities.
In fact, between March 13 and April 7, the MBTA experienced four “near-miss events.” This means that a train got dangerously close to workers. On April 13, an employee suffered serious injuries while working in a location where access “had not been requested or granted,” and on the 14th, the MBTA experienced yet another near-miss event.
With 75 track defects on the Red Line alone, this work needs to get done without putting workers and commuters at risk. A Federal Transit Administration (FTA) spokesperson tells the Globe, “As MBTA continues to work to reduce a backlog of maintenance work, creating a safer ride for passengers, the agency is putting more workers on the rail tracks during operating hours. As it does so, transit workers must be better protected.”
What types of injuries occur in MBTA accidents?
Injuries from MBTA accidents can range from moderate to severe. People can be hit by trains or buses, slip and fall, experience an assault, be involved in a train or bus crash, or, as happened recently, have debris fall on their heads. Common MBTA injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken and fractured bones
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Lacerations and contusions
- Internal injuries
- Nerve damage
- Wrongful death
If you are injured while on public transit, it’s important you seek medical attention and contact a Boston personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Your lawyer can help you file the proper reports, as well as launch an investigation into your case and identify all possible at-fault parties. Then, we will work with your medical team and other experts to determine the maximum amount of compensation to which you are entitled. Damages for these types of cases commonly include:
- Medical expenses, past and future
- Lost wages, past and future
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical and/or occupational therapy
- Home or vehicle modifications
Our attorneys let you focus on recovering the best you can from your injuries, while we work on your case. We keep you informed every step of the way, giving you the knowledge you need to make the best decisions without becoming overwhelmed by the legal process. We don’t do anything without your approval, and that includes taking any settlements without your approval. Every case we take is prepared for trial; if insurance companies won’t play fair, then we will take your case to a jury.
If you or a family member were injured in an MBTA accident, ensure you seek advice from an experienced lawyer. At Breakstone, White & Gluck, we’ve been helping the people of Boston for decades. We can help you understand your legal rights, how to file a claim, and how to secure the compensation you need for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. It’s time to focus on your recovery and let our attorneys do the hard work. Call our office or complete our contact form today to set up a consultation.