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BPD officer permanently injured in chain-reaction crash at Forest Hills construction site sues drivers, construction companies, developers

A Boston Police officer who says he suffered permanent injuries in a crash on Hyde Park Avenue at Ukraine Way and is no longer able to work is suing the drivers and companies he says were to blame.

According to his suit, filed in Suffolk Superior Court today, Ofr. Javier Velasquez was on a detail on May 6, 2019 helping to direct traffic around construction work at the AO Flats apartment complex when the driver of one contractor's Mack truck lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a van belonging to another contractor, sending that vehicle hurtling into Velasquez.

As a result, Velasquez's complaint states, he suffered "extensive and permanent injuries, was caused to suffer and continues to suffer great paint of his body, was caused disability, was caused to incur medical expenses, was caused to be unable to carry out his daily activities, all to his great damage." The injuries included a broken neck, a broken leg and ankle, shoulder injuries, a concussion and PTSD, the suit charges.

The suit names the drivers of the two vehicles, along with their employers, and the developers of the apartment building.

The suit says contractor LVMJ Corp., owner of the Mack truck, shares blame because it had a duty to hire people who know how to drive large trucks and that DJ Plumbing and Heating, owner of the van, shares blame because it shouldn't have parked its van where it did.

Bilt-Rite Construction, which hired the two contractors - and Velasquez for detail work - also shares blame because it should have taken more care to not hire contractors who might cause the kind of crash that permanently disabled Velasquez, the suit continues.

And ultimately, the suit alleges, developers Urbanica, Inc and the Community Builders and AO Flats are also partly to blame for hiring Bilt-Rite.

Velasquez, who became a patrolman in 2005, is seeking the $220,000 in medical bills he says he has had to pay, $420,000 in lost wages to date and $2.6 million in anticipated lost earnings, as well as any damages a jury might award.

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Comments

He should add the city to the complaint as they should not have a street there or maybe the weather guys for having a sunny day..

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Voting closed 28

You're permanently injured in some sort of crash and can no longer work. Would you just go "oopsies, oh well, them's the breaks" and do nothing?

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Voting closed 106

Believe it or not, crazy accidents sometimes happen. Funny how life is like that. Hopefully, the victims of accidents aren't woefully damaged by whatever happened - and there are things that they can 'do'.

But not every unfortunate occurrance in this world requires an individual to be blamed and sued for it.

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Voting closed 6

Did you read the article? When someone drives into something and someone is hurt there is an individual to blame: the moron driving the truck. It’s as simple as 1+1=2

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Voting closed 17

All he did was park his van on a construction site...you know...like every other van on every construction site. Typically you park where you can and the officer on detail doesn't say boo. In fact they usually tell you it's ok.

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Voting closed 18

The van hit the patrolman, not the truck. If he sued the truck operator, he would defend himself by saying he never he the patrolman. The solution is to sue everyone at the same time, get them all in court and work out liability there.

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is unfortunately par for the course in this comments section. I hope this former employee gets all the money he needs to live for the rest of his life. His disability pension is likely not significant, as he was only on the force for 14 years prior to the injury.

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Voting closed 7

If society had some kind of functional safety net, a disability process that didn't require years of fighting just to get sub-poverty level assistance, widely available healthcare that wasn't tied to being able to work, etc, I wonder if we would see so many lawsuits like this.....

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Voting closed 3

You know what would’ve prevented this? Not having state and city rules that require cops to stand around construction sites.

On my way to and from the Arb this morning I twice passed a four-cop detail on Fairview at Ashfield. Four cops. Two construction workers. Zero traffic — it’s a 25 MPH residential street, not a thruway in any sense, with the street fully blocked by cones, signs, a dump truck and a backhoe.

It’s a pity that Officer Velasquez was ever put in this situation. He should sue the police unions who keep this scam alive.

(So really, where’s the petition that I sign to get rid of this stupid practice?)

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Voting closed 60

Tell the city to stop bargaining detail rates into contract negotiations as they try to make the cops pay more for their health care and forgo salary increases. The City will also want to make up for the $2 million or so in surcharges they make on the details. You would also be going against the interests of one of the largest minority run organizations in New England (I know that is important for woke citizens like you).

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Voting closed 37

I know that is important for woke citizens like you

Oh look, Pete is using "woke" as an insult! Telling on yourself, Pete.

(next thing Pete says is "But it wasn't an insult, it's a compliment, what's wrong with you, you're the real racists, etc.")

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Voting closed 33

Right on time lbb!

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...to indulge in childish insults as you do.

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Voting closed 10

You don’t have to respond to every single comment all the time.

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Voting closed 17

You are always right on time with the copsplaining, the testalying, and the insults when you can't get past that.

Every other fucking state uses flaggers for construction sites. Massachusetts cops just hate to see their sacred cow challenged despite thin evidence that it is anything but a shakedown racket.

Organized crime wears badges now thanks to your patron saint Ron Delord.

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Voting closed 19

I want the city to get rid of them. If you could calm down and actually read you will see why the city doesn’t want to get rid of the details. They make/save millions on them.

But you keep in swirlying around being a clown as usual. It has to be miserable living with so much hate swirly. How do you do it?

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Voting closed 15

No every other state does not use flanggers. Plenty of states in New England and the Northeast employee police including Connecticut, New York and Vermont and New Hampshire.

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You would also be going against the interests of one of the largest minority run organizations in New England (I know that is important for woke citizens like you).

BPPA’s leadership is a sea of white. Unless you’re offended by the woke notion that we now consider Italians to be white.

Meanwhile, the BPD has become more white as the city became less so. 2/3 of Boston Police Officers are white and over 80% of superior officers are also white.

But do go on, I can see you’re sincerely concerned.

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Voting closed 22

Now that is nice.

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Do you have more-recent articles contradicting those three-four year old articles?

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Voting closed 17

get off the internet and go meet some Boston residents or workers sometime. You can actually meet diverse people instead of pretending to care about them on the internet!

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Voting closed 21

You have feelings, who needs facts.

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And there is a scientific component to empirical observations and data. The globe isn’t going to dig that far though.

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What a sad, angry life you must live. You make being anti-cop your everything. We get it. You dislike cops. Move on.

Spoiler alert: they’ aren’t going anywhere. We will NEVER abolish the police.

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The dangerous traffic around this construction site, compounded by careless parking, could have been mitigated if someone were around to, say, tell people to slow down and not to park in certain places.

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Voting closed 34

But doesn't the patrolman's insurance cover his medical costs and lost wages?

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That jumped out at me. I thought a big benefit of being in a public secret was the excellent insurance.

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Well I don't know squat about their insurance, but like everybody else's insurance, I assume it doesn't cover everything. It's not unheard of to be left with crippling debt even with insurance.

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The city would cover all of the medical stuff because he was injured on the job (no co-pay or anything) He would get workers comp and a tax free paycheck every week (which would be the same as his regular check minus the taxes)

I’m not all that up to current employment law in terms of lost wages, benefits and civil suits, but I’m guessing he is looking for lost overtime and detail wages he would have gotten. I know many alimony and child support cases include those extra hours.

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But that would mean Boston Police officers typically make THREE MILLION DOLLARS in overtime pay over their careers? Uh....what?!?

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It's not like he's only physically unable to work overtime.

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He's suing for medical expenses.

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As someone who's been through a major accident, I can tell you it's not that simple.

First, most insurance requires co-pays. In a major accident, those can be expensive.

Second, there are many costs that aren't covered by insurance. With injuries like his, he may well have needed home health aides once he was out of the hospital - the vast majority of that cost is not covered.

When you are injured in an work-related accident, worker's comp insurance kicks in. This may set coverage amounts that are unrealistically low. There's also all sorts of wrangling between them and (in this case) the insurance of the drivers, construction company, etc.

If you are out of work on short-term disability, most places usually only pay 60%-70% of lost wages up to a cap. It also only kicks in after you've been out 2 weeks, which time has to be covered by using your own accumulated paid time off. If patrolmen have long-term disability, it also probably only covers about 60% of lost wages.

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Voting closed 19

Ofr. Javier Velasquez was on a detail… helping to direct traffic around construction work

“Direct traffic.” Riiiiiight.

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DJ Plumbing and Heating, owner of the van, shares blame because it shouldn't have parked its van where it did.

wouldn't it be up to the detail officer to make sure vehicles were parked in safe locations while the work was being done?

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Voting closed 38

… they may have just parked there before he had a chance to tell them to move. Or perhaps he was waiting for the tow truck. Whether he was performing his duties properly or not is irrelevant. They shouldn’t have parked there.

Whatever the case, I’m glad to see someone suing a scofflaw driver. I have been put in danger countless times by drivers who park illegally. I’m ready to start keying their vehicles.

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Voting closed 11

If your key makes contact with a vehicle on the sidewalk that is completely the fault of the criminal who parked there. Anyone who disagrees values a vehicle driven by a sociopath over the life of a pedestrian.

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I think there should be, if there isn't, paperwork/contract for who is responsible for what on a public street construction project.

My understanding:

  • Police detail: make sure the street is safe for passage by pedestrian and vehicle alike
  • GC: oversite of the construction site - they are generally responsible for what is where on the site
  • Sub: responsible for their portion and their vehicles, at the direction of the GC

Ideally police detail contracts define what their role actually is. Do *I* think they should be responsible for locating parked vehicles in and around a public way job site? I think they should be allowed to give their experienced direction to the GC, but ultimately the job site is the responsibility of the GC. *Although* the police ... are they the Authority Having Jurisdiction, similar to Building Inspectors? Yes and no, IMO. The end result is no one wants this responsibility. And that is why everyone and their mother are sued to get to the bottom line of where, exactly, the buck stops.

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