A woman who suffered injuries when her leg got stuck between an Orange Line car and the platform at Massachusetts Avenue during an afternoon rush hour in 2018 - and who was rescued by fellow passengers who managed to push the train just enough to free her - sued the MBTA this week.
In her suit, filed in Suffolk Superior Court, Susannah Lyle Allen of Jamaica Plain alleges her leg never would have gotten stuck or injured as badly as it did but for T negligence.
The complaint says that Allen was on her way to Forest Hills on June. 29, 2018 when her jammed train pulled into Massachusetts Avenue and she started to get out so that others on the train could exit:
As Plaintiff stepped from the subway car towards the platform at the Massachusetts Avenue Station, her left leg fell to nearly hip depth into the space between the car and the platform. A protruding piece of metal or hard plastic from the platform edge sliced deep into Plaintiff’s leg, pinning the leg in place, causing her to suffer severe personal injuries.
Plaintiff was unable to remove her leg from the space between the train and the platform protrusion on her own and remained trapped for several extremely painful and deeply anxious minutes before other passengers, with no assistance from any of the MBTA personnel present, rocked the subway car away from the platform, allowing Plaintiff’s leg to be pulled free from the protrusion pinning her to the side of the platform.
Another passenger, who had just seen a video of a similar incident in Australia, rallied a dozen or so other riders to shove the train, just enough to free her.
The complaint alleges that the T:
[N]egligently designed, installed, inspected, repaired and/or maintained the platform such that the spacing between it and its Orange Line train was unreasonably large and, furthermore, contained defects in its edging, creating a dangerous condition for passengers entering and exiting the train.
Also, she charges, the driver exacerbated things by not stopping the train where he was supposed to, "resulting in an unusually large spacing between the train and the track platform."
The complaint says she "suffered severe personal injuries, endured substantial physical and emotional pain and incurred substantial medical and non-medical expenses" and deserves recompense and damages for that. The complaint does not list a specific amount, however.