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Appeals Court Upholds Decision to Dismiss MBTA Lawsuit

The Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed Superior Court Judge Mitchell H. Kaplan’s decision that plaintiff Raquel Rodriguez and the class of monthly commuter rail pass holders failed to show that the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) breached its contract with “commuter rail customers when extraordinary winter storms interrupt the service schedule.”

The case stems from the historic winter storms in 2015 when a record setting 108.6 inches of snow fell in the city of Boston,  and affected the ability of the MBTA to run trains on their normal operating schedule.  Appeals Court Justice C. Jeffrey Kinder wrote, “the purchase of a monthly pass [from] the MBTA is not a guarantee of performance according to its published schedule in these extraordinary circumstances.”  Justice Kinder further reasoned that the Complaint is “silent regarding the source of the contractual obligation, the scope of the MBTA’s expected performance in these circumstances, and the rights of its customers in the event of a breach” and “because the Complaint does not set forth the material terms of the claimed contract with sufficient precision, we discern no error in the dismissal of the breach of contract claim.”  On November 6, 2017, the Supreme Judicial Court denied the Plaintiffs’ request for further appellate review, and the case is now concluded.

Anderson & Kreiger attorneys David Mackey, Peter Terris, Nina Pickering-Cook and Christina Marshall represented the MBTA in this case.

Commuter train image creditMatt Hrono

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