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Widow of Boston law professor files wrongful death suit against state after he plunged to his death

The widow of a Boston University law professor filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the state greater than a year after her husband fell 20 ft to his death when he slipped by means of a rusted staircase.

Milton David Jones, 40, an affiliate professor within the Department of Health Law, Policy and Management on the School of Public Health died close to the JFK/UMass T station in Dorchester on September 11, 2021 when the father-of-three fell by means of a staircase that had been closed for 20 months as a result of it was unsafe.

Jones’ death was dominated an accident – however now his widow, Sarah Sacuto, is suing the MBTA and Massachusetts Department of Education for the shortage of warning indicators concerning the fragile stairs and failure to block them off from the general public.

The stairs had been closed to the general public on the time of Jones’ death, and a wire fence had been erected round them to warn folks away. But Sacuto’s lawsuit insists extra may have been executed to hold folks away from them.  

‘The defendants, by their neglect, had allowed the “subject staircase” to degrade and fall into disrepair thereby inflicting it to be a hazard to the general public,’ the lawsuit reads, in accordance to the Boston Herald.

Sacuto blames the defendants for her husband’s death. She shared three youngsters with him.

It’s unclear how a lot Sacuto is suing for.

Sarah Sacuto (far left in jean jacket) filed a wrongful lawsuit against the state greater than a year after her husband, Milton David Jones (proper in purple sweater) fell 20 ft to his death

Milton David Jones, 40, slipped through a rusted staircase in September 2021 that had been closed for 20 months

Milton David Jones, 40, slipped by means of a rusted staircase in September 2021 that had been closed for 20 months

Jones' death was ruled an accident - but the lawsuit said that it could've been prevented if the state had properly blocked off the stairwell. Pictured: the stairwell above

Jones’ death was dominated an accident – however the lawsuit mentioned that it may’ve been prevented if the state had correctly blocked off the stairwell. Pictured: the stairwell above 

One entryway to the stairway where Jones fell. It is pictured after his death, although these signs and fences had been erected before his fatal plunge

One entryway to the stairway the place Jones fell. It is pictured after his death, though these indicators and fences had been erected earlier than his deadly plunge 

The stairway where Jones fell. Multiple steps were seen at the top

The stairway the place Jones fell. Multiple steps had been seen on the high

The staircase was ‘fenced off’ prior to Jones’ death and a warning signal hung close by, the information outlet reported. Following the accident, the staircase was torn down. 

It stays unclear how Jones ended up on the staircase, however Sacuto mentioned on the time that her husband went on a run and by no means got here residence.   

On the day of Jones’ death, state troopers had been alerted a couple of physique below the staircase at round 1.30pm.

David Procopio, a Massachusetts state police spokesman mentioned final year that, Jones’ physique ‘had been noticed below a set of stairs a short while earlier by a passerby who known as police.’

They later found that Jones was mendacity on the bottom below a stairway that connects Old Colony Road to the Columbia Road overpass.

There, detectives ‘noticed a spot within the stairs above the sufferer, who had already been decided to be deceased.’ 

Procopio advised the Boston Globe he was undecided whether or not there have been indicators warning pedestrians to hold off the staircase on however ‘there was a wire fence blocking the underside entrance to the steps and a jersey barrier,’ in addition to ‘chain hyperlink fencing’ and one other jersey barrier on the Columbia Road entrance. 

A gaping gap within the center of the heavily-rusted staircase remained seen after Jones’ death, with at the very least six lacking steps, and a quantity of fallen steps had been scattered throughout the bottom.

It is unclear when the steps fell, however a Google Street View picture from November 2020 confirmed there have been 4 lacking steps.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has warned residents not to use the staircase practically 40 occasions since January 2020, writing in a tweet in March 2021 that the steps had been inaccessible and pedestrians ought to discover different methods to entry the T station whereas ‘crucial repairs are being made.’

‘If you are not paying consideration to what you are doing, this might have occurred to anyone,’ Saunders mentioned on the time. ‘You cannot actually discover whether or not the steps are there or not until you actually, actually look arduous.’ 

It's still unclear how Jones got on the stairwell - but Sacuto said he was out on a run the day that he died

It’s nonetheless unclear how Jones bought on the stairwell – however Sacuto mentioned he was out on a run the day that he died

Jones left behind three kids and his wife. His kids are also named in the lawsuit

Jones left behind three youngsters and his spouse. His youngsters are additionally named within the lawsuit 

Sacuto described her husband as 'the most loving, kind considerate person'

Sacuto described her husband as ‘probably the most loving, type thoughtful individual’ 

Jones was an associate professor at Boston University

Jones was an affiliate professor at Boston University

Sacuto posted on Facebook following his death that he went for a run and ‘by no means returned’ residence.

‘He by chance accessed a flight of stairs close to the JFK UMass Boston metro cease that was rusted by means of. He fell from 20 ft up and almost definitely died immediately.

‘The void he leaves behind is unspeakable,’ she mentioned.

‘He was probably the most loving, type thoughtful individual I knew. He was the very best father. He beloved to dance to Phish, be open air and run. He beloved unconditionally and was the proudest father to his youngsters.

‘I beloved him,’ she wrote.

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