Boston law professor’s widow files wrongful death lawsuit against state after plunge into her death

The widow of a Boston University law professor has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the state more than a year after her husband fell 20 feet to his death when he slipped into a rusty staircase.

Milton David Jones, 40, an associate professor in the Department of Health Law, Policy and Management at the School of Public Health died near JFK/UMass T station in Dorchester on September 11, 2021 when the father of three is fell down a staircase that has been closed for 20 months because it was dangerous.

Jones’ death was ruled accidental – but now his widow, Sarah Sacuto, is suing the MBTA and the Massachusetts Department of Education over the lack of warning signs about the flimsy stairs and failure to block them from the audience.

The stairs were closed to the public at the time of Jones’ death and a wire fence had been erected around them to warn people to stay away. But Sacuto’s lawsuit insists more could have been done to keep people away from them.

“The defendants, through their negligence, had allowed ‘the staircase in question’ to decay and decay, rendering it a danger to the public,” the lawsuit states, according to the Boston Herald.

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

It is unclear how many Sacuto is suing.

Sarah Sacuto (far left in a denim jacket) has filed a wrongful lawsuit against the state more than a year after her husband, Milton David Jones (right in a red sweater) fell 20ft to his death

Milton David Jones, 40, slipped down a rusty staircase in September 2021 which had been closed for 20 months

Milton David Jones, 40, slipped down a rusty staircase in September 2021 which had been closed for 20 months

Jones' death was ruled accidental - but the lawsuit said it could have been avoided if the state had properly blocked off the stairwell. Pictured: The stairwell above

Jones' death was ruled accidental - but the lawsuit said it could have been avoided if the state had properly blocked off the stairwell. Pictured: The stairwell above

Jones’ death was ruled accidental – but the lawsuit said it could have been avoided if the state had properly blocked off the stairwell. Pictured: The stairwell above

An entrance to the staircase where Jones fell. He is pictured after his death, although these signs and fences were erected before his fatal plunge

An entrance to the staircase where Jones fell. He is pictured after his death, although these signs and fences were erected before his fatal plunge

An entrance to the staircase where Jones fell. He is pictured after his death, although these signs and fences were erected before his fatal plunge

The staircase where Jones fell. Several steps were seen at the top

The staircase where Jones fell. Several steps were seen at the top

The staircase where Jones fell. Several steps were seen at the top

The staircase was “fenced off” before Jones died and a warning sign hung nearby, the outlet reported. Following the accident, the staircase was demolished.

It’s still unclear how Jones ended up on the stairs, but Sacuto said at the time that her husband ran off and never came home.

The day Jones died, state troopers were alerted to a body under the stairs around 1:30 p.m.

David Procopio, a Massachusetts State Police spokesman, said last year that Jones’ body “was observed under a staircase shortly before by a passerby who called the police.”

They later discovered that Jones was lying on the ground under a staircase that connects Old Colony Road to the Columbia Road overpass.

There, detectives “observed a space in the stairs above the victim, who had already been determined to be deceased.”

Procopio told the Boston Globe he wasn’t sure if there were any signs warning pedestrians to stay off the stairs, but “there was a wire fence blocking the lower entrance to the staircase and a jersey barrier”, as well as a “chain-link fence” and another jersey barrier at the Columbia Road entrance.

A gaping hole in the middle of the heavily rusted staircase remained visible after Jones’ death, with at least six steps missing, and a number of fallen steps strewn across the floor.

It’s unclear when the steps fell, but a November 2020 Google Street View image showed four steps missing.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has warned residents not to use the stairs nearly 40 times since January 2020, writing in a tweet in March 2021 that the stairs were inaccessible and pedestrians should find other ways to access the T station while the necessary repairs are in progress. .’

“If you’re not careful what you’re doing, it could have happened to anyone,” Saunders said at the time. “You can’t really notice if the stairs are there or not unless you look really, really hard.”

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

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

It’s still unclear how Jones got up the stairwell – but Sacuto said he was on the run the day he died

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

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

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

Sacuto described her husband as

Sacuto described her husband as

Sacuto described her husband as “the most loving and caring person”

Jones was an associate professor at Boston University

Jones was an associate professor at Boston University

Jones was an associate professor at Boston University

Sacuto posted on Facebook after his death that he went for a run and “never came back” home.

“He accidentally accessed a staircase near the JFK UMass Boston subway station that was rusty. He fell 20 feet and probably died instantly.

“The void he leaves behind is indescribable,” she said.

“He was the most loving and caring person I know. He was the best father. He loved dancing to Phish, being outside and running. He loved unconditionally and was the proudest father of his children.

“I loved him,” she wrote.

. widow dun professor right Boston files a complaint for death wrongful against the state after having plunged into death

. Boston law professors widow files wrongful death lawsuit state plunge death

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