United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO
Dennis Saylor IV, United States District Judge
suit arises from the tragic death of Aura Beatriz Garcia. On
December 31, 2013, Garcia was walking across the Andrew
McArdle Bridge, a drawbridge in East Boston, Massachusetts,
when it opened and closed, crushing her and causing her
Hernandez, Garcia's sister and the personal
representative of her estate, has brought suit against
multiple defendants. The complaint includes claims under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 against the City of Boston; Joanne
Massaro, the Commissioner of Public Works; and Fouad Hamzeh,
the Superintendent of Bridges and Buildings. The City,
Massaro, and Hamzeh have each moved to dismiss the section
1983 claims for failure to state a claim upon which relief
can be granted. For the reasons stated below, those motions
will be granted.
facts are set forth below as alleged in the first amended
McArdle Bridge is a two-lane drawbridge in East Boston,
Massachusetts, that carries Meridian Street across the
Chelsea River. The bridge is owned, operated, and managed by
the City of Boston. (Id. ¶ 3, 37).
Massaro was, at all relevant times, employed by the City of
Boston as the Commissioner of Public Works. (Id.
¶ 6). In that capacity, she established policies on
behalf of the city's Public Works Department and was
responsible for the training and supervision of all
department employees. (Id.). She was also
responsible for the operation and maintenance of all bridges
in the city. (Id. ¶ 7).
Hamzeh was, at all relevant times, employed by the City of
Boston as the Superintendent of Bridges and Buildings. In
that capacity, he implemented city policies concerning
bridges and buildings, trained and supervised employees, and
was responsible for the operation and maintenance of the
city's bridges. (Id. ¶¶ 8-9).
Electrical, Inc., is Massachusetts corporation responsible
for developing the opening and closing procedures of the
McArdle Bridge as well as training city employees regarding
those procedures. (Id. ¶¶ 10-11). Cora
Operations, LLC, and Cora Operations, Inc., are Massachusetts
corporations responsible for inspecting, servicing, and
repairing the bridge. (Id. ¶¶ 12-13).
Alarm Systems, a Massachusetts corporation, Hardesty &
Hanover, LLP, a New York partnership, and Hardesty &
Hanover LLC, a New York corporation, are responsible for
installing and maintaining video cameras and surveillance
equipment on the bridge. (Id. ¶¶ 16-23).
B&B Electromatic, Inc. and B&B Electromatic
Corporation, Louisiana corporations, B&B Roadway LLC, an
Alabama corporation, and B&B ARMR, a Texas corporation,
are responsible for installing and maintaining other
equipment on the bridge. (Id. ¶¶ 24-27).
Events of December 31, 2013
McArdle Bridge is raised and lowered by a bridge tender, who
sits in a booth close to the bridge. (Id.
¶¶ 37-38). The City's bridge policy requires
that the bridge tender ensure that the bridge is cleared of
any obstructions, including pedestrians or cars, before
opening the bridge. (Id. ¶ 39). According to
the complaint, that policy was supposed to be posted inside
the bridge tender's booth. (Id. ¶ 40).
December 31, 2013, at approximately 12:25 p.m., Garcia walked
across the bridge. (Id. ¶ 43). The spotlights
on the bridge were not working. (Id. ¶ 42). The
bridge tender opened the bridge while Garcia was walking
across it, without first ensuring that the bride was clear of
pedestrians. (Id. ¶ 44). As the bridge opened,
Garcia clung to one of the bridge plates and screamed for
help. (Id. ...