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Family of man dragged to his death by a Red Line train sues MBTA for negligence

The family of Robinson Lalin, dragged to his death by a Red Line train leaving Broadway station last April, today sued the MBTA, alleging recklessness and wanton misconduct.

In the suit, filed in Suffolk Superior Court, the family charges that while train's driver violated MBTA policies by failing to look out his window before he pulled out to ensure that nobody was in or near the train's doors, the MBTA also shares blame, in part because they employed the driver, in part because they let a train onto the tracks with a door system that should have kept the train from moving because the door Lalin's arm was trapped in had not fully closed:

The carelessness, negligence, and/or wilful, wanton, or reckless conduct of the defendant MBTA in causing the incident and Mr. Lalin's death ... included failing to properly inspect, maintain, repair, and monitor the subway cars and station, including the door and alarm systems of the cars; failing to timely replace and upgrade subway cars and take unsafe cars out of service so that the cars and trains were safe for use by the public, including Mr. Lalin; failing to monitor the station and platform to ensure that doors were closed and that all customers were free of the doors before moving the train; and failing to keep a look out and stop the train as Mr. Lalin was being trapped and dragged, and before he was injured and killed. The above acts and omissions were careless, negligent, wilful, wanton, and/or reckless, and constituted violations of MBTA's legal duties of care as well as its own written policies and procedures.

The suit adds:

Prior to his death, and while he was being trapped and dragged to his death by the MBTA train, Mr. Lalin's body was damaged and dismembered, and he experienced great pain of body and anguish of mind resulting in his conscious pain and suffering prior to his death.

The family is seeking a jury trial and appropriate damages.

PDF icon Complete complaint142.94 KB


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No way is this case going to go before a Suffolk County Jury made up of regular T riders.

Voting closed 22

It was safer to ride the MBTA 30 to 40 years ago, it seems to me that MBTA workers were much dedicated to their jobs back then, than now. With America’s oldest transit system reliable up until 15 years ago, What went wrong? Workers aren’t getting paid enough.

Voting closed 12

I’ll tell you what went wrong. 30 years ago, the Ⓣ had guard operators on every single train, whose job it was to operate the doors and make stop announcements. Then as a money saving move by those who probably have never operated a train in their lives, the position was eliminated. Now the operator has to do everything. Operate the train safely, open and close the(more times than not broken) doors, service the platform, AND on most trains, make PA announcements. All with the thought in the back of their minds that with any mistake with any of those things, they could get in trouble or worse.

Voting closed 22

A simple camera mounted along the wall or ceiling of platform with Wi-Fi with a screen monitor in the cockpit of the train could have prevented this tragedy.

Voting closed 0

Unfortunately, however, the MBTA had its problems 20, 30, and 40 some odd years ago, which have continued to get worse, and lead up to this horrific event, because the people who maintained and worked for the MBTA didn't bother to fix the problems while they were small, so they subsequently got worse. It's too bad that somebody had to die a horrible and painful death before any of the people who run the MBTA woke up. Hopefully, they'll do what's necessary to fix the problems and be more alert on the maintenance of the MBTA, so this kind of a thing won't happen again.

Another horrible incident, although nobody died as a result, occurred on the Orange Line, where the car caught on fire, with smoke, and people were jumping out of the car to safety and swimming in the dirty Mystic River to get away.

Voting closed 2

What led up to his arm getting caught in the door? The complaint says it got caught as he was exiting the train. Was he trying to hold it open for someone else?

Voting closed 6

The NTSB summary said he went to get off, turned back to get on, and then turned around to get off a second time when he got caught.

Voting closed 12

You have no defense, and do you really want to reveal what else is going to crawl out from under this rock during a jury trial?

That is, if the plaintiffs are willing to settle at all.

Voting closed 19

This would be the trial of the century. Everybody vs. The MBTA. We'd find out who in the T's upper management needs to be fired and blacklisted from the industry, and who needs to be fired and blacklisted and also do time.

Voting closed 10

To our city of Boston, and to Massachusetts. None of our "leaders" have had the political courage to hold them to account (maybe because they don't use public transportation).

Boston boasts world-class institutions of higher education and medicine, but if you come from out of town for a conference at one of those august institutions, you risk life and limb using our public transit system, and that includes the uptick in random violent crimes against innocent people waiting for trains and buses.

I carry snacks, water, and pepper spray these days, when commuting to work.

Where are the grown-ups?

Voting closed 24

This accident continues to horrify me. Wishing the family peace.

Voting closed 18