The family of Brian Hicks is suing the designers and builders of the Big Dig tunnels for his Boston wrongful death. The 39-year-old Salem man died last March when his pickup truck crashed in the Sumner Tunnel.
Hicks’ family contends that he could have survived the Boston motor vehicle crash were it not for the fact that when he was ejected from the pickup he struck a one of the handrails in the tunnel. Hicks is the eight person to have died after getting into an accident in the Big Dig tunnel and then hitting one of the sharp-edged rails that line the walkways that are there for maintenance workers to use. One person who did survived hitting a tunnel handrail lost an arm.
Last month, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation released a report calling for the removal of thousands of feet of railings. Chain-link mesh will be placed on railings that aren’t removed but are located at curves and other areas in the tunnel where a car crash has a higher risk of occurring. Because speed has been a factor in many of these collisions, current speed limits in the tunnel are being reassessed.
Yet, seeing as Hicks is not the first person to die after striking one of the Big Dig handrails, and the other fatalities took place over the last several years, why are state officials only now deciding to remove or cover these railings? As Hicks’s widow, Donna Hicks, is quoted on thebostonchannel.com, “Wasn’t two or three or another number enough to take action?” Premise owners can be held liable if there is a hazard on the property that could/should have been remedied but wasn’t and someone was injured in a car crash as a result.
Family Blames Big Dig Railings For Man’s Death, The Boston Channel, May 10, 2011
State to remove some dangerous Big Dig handrails, Boston Herald, April 15, 2011
Related Web Resource:
The Big Dig, Massachusetts Department of Transportation
More Blog Posts:
Our Boston injury lawyers have been covering the different injury cases involving accidents in the Big Dig Tunnel. Read our past blog posts for more details:
Boston Wrongful Death Lawsuit Claims Big Dig Tunnel’s Handrails are a Danger, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, February 22, 2010
$9 Million Boston Wrongful Death Settlement Reached with Family of State Trooper Killed in Big Dig Tunnel, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, November 23, 2010
Jamaica Plain Family Gets $28M in Big Dig Settlement, Massachusetts Workers Compensation Lawyer Blog, October 1, 2008