Articles Posted in MBTA Accident

The MBTA has announced publicly that a compromised axle led to a Red Line derailment in June that injured one person and has led to painful commuting delays for hundreds of thousands of subway riders since. They also admitted that unsafe elements of the train that were not caught by safety inspections contributed to the derailment. If you were injured or suffered any other lingering negative effects (such as post-traumatic stress disorder) as a result of the train derailment, contact the Cambridge personal injury experts at Altman & Altman LLP for a free consultation today.

In addition to the axle being of significant age – 27 years old without being replaced – the MBTA missed crucial warning signs that an accessory part nearby the axle was compromised, which they concluded through an investigation played a role in the failure of the axle, and caused the train derailment.

While routine inspections have occurred once every two years to detect the sorts of problems which ultimately led to the failure of this axle – in this case another part on the underside of the train known as a “ground ring”, which regulates electrical flow from the rail and dissipates it throughout the body of the train, had become damaged and allowed electricity to flow through the axle, weakening it to the point where it failed.

Other inspections that occurred during the course of the year did not check either the ground ring or the axle, but once the investigation launched into the cause of the incident, it became clear there was a serious problem with the ground ring that should perhaps have been caught sooner.

A normal, functioning ground ring is sealed from outside elements and should resemble a smooth, clean piece of steel. The ground ring that was examined from the train that derailed was revealed to be badly corroded and damaged through an exposure to outside elements such as grease and dirt, which in turn allowed an electrical flow to arc through the axle while the train was running, weakening it.

Amazingly, just one month before the derailment in May of 2019, the train that would eventually derail was inspected and had two separate parts replaced – but unfortunately nobody caught the damaged ground ring or noticed anything abnormal about the axle. Continue reading

Every day thousands of people in and around the Boston metro area rely on the Massachusetts Bay Transit Association (MBTA) for transportation. MBTA provides several public transportation options, including busses, ferries, commuter rail, and the subway. According to the American Public Transportation Service, MBTA’s commuter rail service – nicknamed the “T” –  is one of the busiest in the nation. On the average weekday, more than one million people use its subway system. Unfortunately, with such high ridership – and some serious maintenance issues – MBTA accidents are relatively common. When an injury accident is a result of negligence, the victim may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

Common Carriers

According to MA state law, MBTA and other transportation companies are held to a higher standard of care due to their classification as “common carriers.” When this standard is violated, MBTA may be liable for resulting injuries and damages. Although some accidents occur due to the excessive speed of trains or busses, they are more likely to occur at MBTA train and subway stations due to unsafe conditions on platforms, stairs, or escalators. A Boston MBTA accident lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured in a MBTA-related accident.

Recent MBTA Accidents

In August, a female pedestrian was killed after being struck and run over by a MBTA swing-loader. The vehicle was being used in a three-month bridge project near the Central Street MBTA station. In 2016, a male pedestrian in Dorchester was hit by a MBTA bus, suffering life-threatening injuries. The victim later died. Also last year, the engine of an Orange Line MBTA train overheated, igniting some trash. Train cars quickly filled with smoke, and passengers had to break windows to escape. Fortunately, everyone survived, but three people were hospitalized.

Some of the Orange Line trains are decades old, and maintenance has been marginal at best. Sadly, the incidents above are just a few of the many MBTA-related accidents that have occurred over the last few years. Many have been fatal. So, what’s going on?

Drowning in Debt

Lack of funding and maintenance issues have plagued MBTA for years. The company is drowning in debt and has a repair backlog in the billions. “The problem we have is a problem of literally decades of disinvestment,” said former Massachusetts DOT director Jim Aloisi. But ridership only continues to grow. A MA personal injury attorney can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured in a MBTA-related accident.

Types of Accidents

Accidents involving trains and subways often result in serious injuries, including head trauma, bone fractures, and internal injuries. Minor injuries, such as sprains and bruising, may also occur. In recent years, MBTA accidents have involved:

  • Trains colliding with vehicles
  • Pedestrian accidents involving trains and busses
  • Slip and fall accidents due to negligent maintenance of MBTA locations
  • Passengers falling when trains stop suddenly and unexpectedly
  • Negligent railway design
  • Lack of adequate warning signage for hazards or oncoming trains
  • Train derailment
  • Fatigued or distracted conductors and drivers
  • Hazardous cargo spills
  • Excessive speed

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One passenger was injured in a Braintree, MA train accident on Wednesday. The incident happened when a commuter train hit the cab of a tractor-trailer after the truck’s wheels had gotten stuck on the track. Fortunately the trucker was able to jump out of the vehicle in time.

Some 60 people were in the train when the crash happened. According to CBS Boston, the injured train passenger, who reported back pain, was transported to the hospital.

In Massachusetts, our Boston train crash lawyers represent passengers and vehicle occupants with injury and wrongful death claims. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reporting a decline in both the number of Massachusetts motor vehicle crash fatalities as well as how many occurred in total in the U.S. According to the figures for 2013, there were 326 traffic deaths in the state last year, which is a decline from the 383 fatalities in 2012. Alcohol was a factor in 118 of the Massachusetts traffic deaths in 2013.

Nationally, the country lost 32,719 people in roadway crashes in 2013. This is also a decrease from the 33,782 traffic deaths from the year previous.

Overall, between 2012 and 2013, the U.S. saw a reduction in deaths and injuries of truck occupants, passenger car occupants, pedestrians, and young drivers, as well as in accidents where alcohol was a factor.

An MBTA driver and seven passengers were injured yesterday when their bus crashed through a guardrail over the Massachusetts Turnpike in Newton.

Authorities say the bus crashed through the guardrail of an overpass on Washington Street at Newton Corner and could be seen from exit 17. Emergency responders at the scene said that there was no threat of the bus ever falling down onto the state highway.

Passengers as well as the bus driver were treated at the scene, and some were taken to area hospitals for further evaluation. State Police and MBTA officials are investigating the crash.

This is the second MBTA bus accident in less than a week. Last Tuesday, several passengers were injured when the bus they were traveling on veered off of the road and crashed into a utility pole in Randolph, according to WCVB.

Joe Pesaturo, a spokesperson for the MBTA said that the #240 bus, which was traveling on Route 28, did in fact strike a utility pole and that several passengers were injured in the accident. Passengers of the crash suffered minor injures-some of which reported experiencing neck and back pain.
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The driver of a car was cited on Tuesday for failing to stop at a stop sign on Providence Highway and as a result caused a crash with a Route 34E bus in Dedham. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority reported that six people were injured in the car and bus crash. Five people on the bus were taken to hospitals in the area with back injuries. The 19-year-old driver of the car was taken to Norwood Hospital with a back injury.

Although the accident is still under investigation, MBTA spokeswoman Lydia Rivera reported that the bus was damaged on the right side and that the car was dented at the front.

The MBTA website provides passengers with emergency safety information and recommendations in the case of an emergency or accident. For bus transit emergencies, MBTA recommends to:

• Remain calm and to follow the instructions of the driver • Know where the emergency exits are located • Only exit the bus when the driver says it is safe to evacuate • Sit close to the bus driver at the front of the bus during off-hours • If you are medically qualified and capable of helping in an emergency, identify yourself to the driver or Transit Police • Notify the bus driver of any trouble or suspicious activity on the bus. The driver can radio the dispatcher and notify the MBTA Transit Police Department.

If you have been injured on the road in a bus or car accident, contact one of our experienced Boston car and bus accident lawyers for a free consultation.


6 Hurt In Car, Bus Crash,, April 12, 2011
Emergency Instructions and Transit Safety Tips, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Continue reading

A recent Holbrook, Massachusetts, car-train accident is under investigation involving a Boston-bound commuter train and an elderly woman who has died from her injuries. According to authorities, Ann Kireilis, 91, from Brockton, was crossing the train tracks near the Holbrook-Avon border at the East High Street crossing when the train collided with the car at about 11:45 a.m. In a statement released by MBTA, spokesman Joe Pesaturo said that the warning gates were down and investigators found that the crossing’s warning system was activated 39 seconds prior to the arrival of the northbound train at the crossing. He said the engineer applied the emergency brake when he saw the car, but was unable to fully stop before hitting the car. Holbrook Fire Chief Edward O’Brien reported that Kireilis appeared to be driving over the rail crossing west toward Avon at the time. He said, “I don’t know if she misjudged the (crossing) gate, it’s tough to tell.”

No one on the train was injured and the commuter train continued its trip to Boston around 1 p.m. with approximately 130 passengers aboard.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 15% of all traffic fatalities in 2008 were seniors, aged 65 or older. Approximately 80% of all traffic fatalities involving older drivers happened during the daytime, 72% occurred on weekdays, and 69% were involving other vehicles. Because the NHTSA predicts that there will be approximately 40 million drivers who are 65 or older by 2020, the organization provides detailed resources for elderly drivers and has created an Older Driver Program Five-Year Strategic Plan 2012-2017. The goals of this program are to build communications for older drivers and caretakers, create and maintain partnerships to help older driver safety, and to expand driver-licensing procedures.

Additional resources to promote safer senior driving include information on:

• How to talk with older drivers about their driving capabilities • Medications and older drivers • Screening and evaluations • Toolkit for driving safely • Driving when you suffer from a condition that could inhibit safe driving, such as Alzheimers, Parkinsons, or a previous stroke

If you have been injured in an accident, contact one of our Massachusetts vehicle accident lawyers for a free consultation.


Brockton woman, 91, dies following car-train crash in Holbrook, The Patriot Ledger, March 18, 2011
Driver Safety, Senior Driving, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Continue reading

An Orange Line train at Malden Center struck and killed a 41-year-old woman on Monday. She was standing on the platform around 1:30 p.m. when she was hit. She fell into the tracks and was later pronounced dead at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Transit police detectives are conducting an investigation. Authorities did not say whether this was a suicide or an accident.

Source: The Boston Globe, Woman, 41, struck and killed by Orange Line train in Malden, officials say

If you have suffered an injury in an MBTA accident, call Altman & Altman LLP. We can help you to work out your claim. We have successfully brought claims against the MBTA for almost 50 years.
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On Wednesday, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority released dozens of documents related to the 2009 trolley crash that injured dozens of passengers and caused over a million dollars in estimated damage. The MBTA has blamed the train accident on driver inattentiveness, but the NTSB is still examining probable causes. Its report may not be ready for another several months.

According to the documents released earlier this week, MBTA workers said there was zero warning before the Green Line trolley slammed into the train in front of it, knocking passengers off their feet. The accident occurred in a tunnel between Government Center and Park Street on the Green Line.

The operator involved in the subway accident, who had been texting his girlfriend at the time, was initially charged with a felony, but his lawyers successfully argued against those charges. Prosecutors brought new charges of gross negligence against him, and he now awaits trial in Suffolk Superior Court. Here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the penalty for gross negligence is a fine of not more than five thousand dollars or imprisonment for not more than two and a half years.

Source: MBTA driver: No warning in 2009 Green Line crash, Boston Globe, November 10, 2010
MBTA operators detail ’09 crash, Boston Globe, November 11, 2010 Continue reading

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority police are investigating a trolley accident that killed a 22-year-old Boston University graduate early Sunday morning. The Brighton man was found in the gauge of the eastbound tracks on the D Line between the Longwood and Fenway stops and pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

A spokesperson for the MBTA said it was unclear why he was inside a fenced off area. Brookline Police and fire departments and the EMS responded to the emergency call.

Unfortunately, this is not the MBTA accident in recent years. In July, an eight-year-old girl was injured after her foot was stuck in an escalator at the MBTA’s Aquarium stop. That same month, a commuter rail train in Wilmington hit and killed a Billerica man. And in April of this year, a Green Line trolley killed a 23-year-old bicyclist.

It is standard MBTA procedure to administer a drug test to the driver following an accident. The driver may also be subject to disciplinary action if he or she was found to be texting behind the wheel.

Source: BU graduate hit and killed by Green Line train early this morning, Boston Globe, October 24, 2010 Continue reading

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