Injured on a Boston Sidewalk or Street? You May Be Out of Luck
If you have tripped or fallen on a Boston sidewalk or street, and sustained injury, you face a grim reality. G L c. 84, Sec. 15 places a $5000.00 cap on these claims. That is right! No matter how serious your injury, how much your medical bills amount to, and how much in lost wages you have incurred, you are still stuck with the $5000.00 cap if a defect on a street or sidewalk caused your injuries. This law must change as it is simply absurd and unjust. Here is the actual language of the law:
Section 15. If a person sustains bodily injury or damage in his property by reason of a defect or a want of repair or a want of a sufficient railing in or upon a way, and such injury or damage might have been prevented, or such defect or want of repair or want of railing might have been remedied by reasonable care and diligence on the part of the county, city, town or person by law obliged to repair the same, he may, if such county, city, town or person had or, by the exercise of proper care and diligence, might have had reasonable notice of the defect or want of repair or want of a sufficient railing, recover damages therefor from such county, city, town or person; but he shall not recover from a county, city, town or local water and sewer commission more than one fifth of one per cent of its state valuation last preceding the commencement of the action nor more than five thousand dollars; nor shall a county, city or town be liable for an injury or damage sustained upon a way laid out and established in the manner prescribed by statute until after an entry has been made for the purpose of constructing the way, or during the construction and repairing thereof, provided that the way shall have been closed, or other sufficient means taken to caution the public against entering thereon. No action shall be maintained under this section by a person the combined weight of whose carriage or vehicle and load exceeds six tons.