Boston Jury Finds MBTA Liable in $3.98 Million Verdict for Injured Pedestrian

A Suffolk Superior Court jury today awarded $3.98 million to a South End woman who was run over by an MBTA bus on September 13, 2005. The verdict, with interest, will result in a judgment over $5.4 million for Rita Traybman, who lost her right leg when it was crushed by the bus. She was run over while crossing the street in a crosswalk.

The verdict is believed to be one of the largest ever in Massachusetts for an injury of this kind.

Ms. Traybman’s lawyer, Boston attorney Marc L. Breakstone, who has handled several bus accident and train accident cases against the MBTA, said, “This verdict will help Ms. Traybman cope with the terrible injuries she sustained. She will be able to obtain appropriate housing and medical care for her life-long disability.”  Mr. Breakstone is a member of the personal injury law firm Breakstone, White & Gluck, PC, in Boston, MA.

The incident occurred when Ms. Traybman was struck from behind in the crosswalk at the corner of Washington Street and East Newton Street in Boston. The 58-year-old woman was crossing the street with the “Walk” signal when she was struck.

Mr. Breakstone explained, “Ms. Traybman suffered the loss of her right leg and she continues to suffer daily from extreme pain known as phantom limb pain. Her disabilities make her dependent on others for much of her basic care.”

Plaintiff presented evidence at trial that the bus driver failed to check for pedestrians in the crosswalk, and that he made an improper turn in violation of MBTA guidelines. The jury found that the bus driver was 100% at fault for the injuries sustained by the plaintiff.

Plaintiff also presented evidence that she would need continuing care to make her apartment more wheelchair accessible, and to provide for the care she needs around the clock. Ms. Traybman suffers not only from the phantom limb pain, but from pain in her shoulders and elbows which further impair her mobility.

Prior to trial the MBTA made no offer of settlement, despite the fact that its driver admitted the accident was his fault; despite the fact that the MBTA police and internal investigations also confirmed the accident was the driver’s fault; and despite the severe injuries sustained by the plaintiff. Instead, the MBTA forced the case to trial.

Ms. Traybman immigrated to the United States from Ukraine and lived independently prior to the accident.

Mr. Breakstone had previously thanked the Suffolk County jury, which heard nine days of testimony and deliberated for two days. 

Listen to the WBZ 1030 podcast interview with Marc Breakstone.


The law firm of Breakstone, White & Gluck, PC, specializes in the representation of injured persons, including pedestrians who have suffered personal injuries.