A passenger on a subway train that crashed moments after its driver sent a text message to his girlfriend has been awarded $1.2 million in the first civil trial stemming from the 2009 accident.
Colleen Fyffe, of Scituate, filed the lawsuit against the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, saying she was unable to return to her job with Delta Air Lines at Logan International Airport as a result of the neck injury she suffered when the trolley slammed into the back of another train in an underground tunnel.
The trolley operator, Aiden Quinn, admitted he was texting his girlfriend just before the Green Line crash. He was fired from his job and later pleaded guilty to negligence. He was sentenced to two years of probation and community service.
Fyffe's case went to trial after her lawyer turned down a $100,000 settlement offer from the MBTA. The Suffolk Superior Court jury delivered its verdict last week.
Joe Pesaturo, a spokesman for the MBTA, told The Boston Globe that the transit system plans to appeal the award. Lawyers for the T acknowledged fault but questioned the severity of Fyffe's injuries.
Of the 24 lawsuits filed in connection with the crash, nine have been settled for an average of about $31,000 each, Pesaturo said.
Nearly 50 passengers were hospitalized after the crash.
The accident prompted the MBTA to ban operators from using or even carrying cellphones while on the job, the strictest such policy for any transit agency in the nation at the time.
This program aired on June 26, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.