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Jury Awards Brain Damaged-Massachusetts Woman Hit by MBTA Bus $10 Million Personal Injury Verdict

A jury in Massachusetts has awarded Louise Scialdone, a 58-year-old Somerville resident, $10 million in her personal injury lawsuit against the Massachusetts Transportation Bay Authority (MBTA). The total sum, interest included, is nearly $12.8 million.

Scialdone sustained a traumatic brain injury when an MBTA bus hit her on February 4, 2004. Scialdone used work with the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance as a clerk.

Scialdone had a walker because she suffers from arthritis. She was struck while waiting for the bus at the stop on McGrath Highway.

The driver apparently lost control of the bus, which then struck Scialdone. She flew five feet before her head struck a parked car. One witness said the driver was operating the bus at about 30mph and was moving too fast for the icy road conditions.

The driver was suspended for one day and continues to be employed with the MBTA.

Scialdone can no longer work and has memory and balance problems. Once a voracious reader, she can only absorb reading material up to the level of a third grader, and she is sensitive to noise and light.

Because of her condition, she only appeared in court for part of the trial. Her daughter, Stephanie Mackesy, says Scialdone can no longer take part in the same activities she used to enjoy with her 14-year-old granddaughter.

Scialdone will use the recovery awarded by the Middlesex County jury to pay get better 24-hour care, which she requires because of her TBI. This care costs about $200,000 annually. She will relocate to a brain injury rehabilitation center. Scialdone currently lives in a nursing home.

MBTA’s insurance will only cover the damage amount over the first $7.5 million. It is not yet known whether the MBTA, which has been having financial problems, will appeal or find a way to pay Scialdone.

T policy falls short on injury award, Boston Globe, February 12, 2008
Woman struck by MBTA bus awarded $10 million in damages, Boston Herald, February 12, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

What is Traumatic Brain Injury?, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke