Massachusetts Appeals Court Rules Against MBTA in Bus Accident Case
Massachusetts Appeals Court Rules Amendment to G.L. c. 258 Making MBTA a "Public Employer" is Not Retroactive
Award to Injured Pedestrian Affirmed
In a case of first impression, the Massachusetts Appeals Court has ruled that the 2009 amendment to G. L. c. 258, which made the MBTA a 'public employer' for purposes of tort claims, does not apply retroactively. The court affirmed the underlying judgment, including the award of interest and costs, obtained by a seriously injured pedestrian.
The plaintiff in Traybman v. MBTA was represented by Marc Breakstone of Breakstone, White & Gluck. The pedestrian accident occurred when Traybam was struck by an MBTA bus in 2005 and suffered severe injuries. She filed a claim against the MBTA and the driver in Suffolk Superior Court. The trial in November 2008 resulted in a verdict of just under $4 million. The MBTA appealed. One of the central issues in the case was whether the judgment against the T should be subject to interest at the rate of 12% per year.
At the time of the trial, the MBTA was an independent body politic which was subject to the pre- and post-judgment interest provisions of Massachusetts law. However, the sweeping transportation reform bill enacted in June 2009 included amendments to G.L. c. 258 which made the MBTA a 'public employer' for purposes of G. L. c. 258.
The T argued on appeal that the statute should be applied retroactively, and that there should be no interest or costs awarded to plaintiff. The Massachusetts Appeals Court disagreed. The court also rejected other evidentiary claims raised by the MBTA.
"David really cared about me as an individual…and he really cared about seeking the justice that needed to be sought in the case."Peter
"Ron got the insurance company to settle for the maximum on the policy. And so as a result of that, my son went back to school."Jeff
"Marc just guided us through the whole process. He told us exactly what would happen and how we needed to go about doing everything."Jesenia
"I would recommend David…The outcome of my case, I was very pleased with it. I hope I don't have another accident, but if I do we'll be back to see David."Paul
"Ron was excellent. He was on top of everything. He answered every question." John
"Marc was extremely professional. I felt very confident that he knew exactly what he was doing. This is his area of practice and I had total confidence in him and I actually have recommended him to other people who have been in accidents."Josh
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