Clearly, we’re all aware that the MBTA is in dire straits and is desperately trying to cut costs. The issue of cutting T services and/or hiking T fares has been the most prominent issue, which is reasonable given that such changes would impact a great number of Massachusetts residents on a daily basis. But another less-public issue revolves around tort reform, an issue that is less broadly applicable, but may cut more deeply into some individuals’ lives. And, of course, this is a particularly relevant issue for personal injury lawyers like us.
In short, the MBTA is seeking to cap personal injury awards at $100,000 in an effort they say could save the agency $4 million per year. What some people might not realize is that serious MBTA injuries have been considered unique, subject to an exception to the $100,000 cap on personal injury awards that are imposed on similar judgments against all other state agencies.
Hiking fare evasion fines? OK, reasonable. Moderate increase in T fares? Controversial, but still logical. Limiting the recovery of seriously injured passengers with life-changing injuries? Perhaps in a league of its own. According to reports, this issue was scheduled to be heard by the joint Transportation Committee this past week.