Christopher Weigl’s Parents Sue Trucking Company

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 29

Ten months after Christopher Weigl, a 23-year-old graduate student, was killed on his bicycle in Allston, the man’s family has sued the truck driver and trucking company involved in the crash, arguing that the company has a responsibility to train drivers to watch for cyclists in dense urban areas.

The lawsuit reflects frustration within Weigl’s family and the Boston cycling community at the lack of criminal charges in the case and channels the growing sentiment among bike advocates that the trucking industry should be proactive in preventing bicycle crashes.

In a complaint filed in Suffolk Superior Court, Weigl’s family contends that the crash in December was the result of negligence on the part of the driver, John A. Brothers of Uxbridge, and the company that employs him, New Hampshire-based Ross Express.(Via)

Some very interesting things could come from this lawsuit. Having large trucks in an urban center requires that the large truck operators be highly trained. I hope the family gets some justice.

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6 Responses to “Christopher Weigl’s Parents Sue Trucking Company”

  1. By DKB on Nov 2, 2013 | Reply

    If this actually goes to trial, the jury will determine how negligent Weigl was as well as how negligent the truck driver was. I don’t see a slam-dunk here for anyone.

  2. By Rebecca on Nov 2, 2013 | Reply

    large trucks in an urban center should be required to have a helper who gets out of the truck making wide turns, to direct traffic.

  3. By brad4d on Nov 10, 2013 | Reply

    I did not report to the city the poor condition of the downhill door zone bike lane untill AFTER the tragic crash. If users of that bike lane had reported the 75 yards of waffling and waviness of the left side of the bike lane preceeding the fatal crash site perhaps the city could also bear some legal responsibility.

    Bob Mionske, a nationally-known cycling lawyer and advocate for the rights of cyclists wrote on his website:

    “Is a road hazard the result of negligence? Depending on the situation, the answer may be yes. If the government agency charged with maintaining a road neglects that responsibility and a crash results, the agency may be held liable for the cyclist’s injuries. Of course, as with any crash, negligence must be proved, and in a case involving a governmental entity, certain conditions must exist. One condition is that the agency must have had notice of a problem; if the accident involves a road-surface hazard, this means that someone had reported the defect to the agency. A second condition is that once the agencyhad notice, it must have had a reasonable period of time to respond. This also implies the agency is able to exercise some control over the roadway. For example, the agency can fill a pothole, but it can’t stop rain from falling on slick surfaces.”

    I think “the city” should be on notice that they at least have a legal responsibility for any future accidents on this poorly maintained bike lane.

  4. By Rebecca on Nov 12, 2013 | Reply

    Finally, someone else has noticed “the 75 yards of waffling and waviness of the left side of the bike lane” on Commonwealth Avenue between Pleasant Street and Amory Street!! I have mentioned it to different people and no one seemed to have any idea what I was talking about. I never have made an official report. I ride on the white line of “door-zone” bike lanes and the waviness of that section did not allow me to do that. I have decided to no longer bike there. Motor vehicles ddn’t understand why I was riding outside of the bike lane and it was just too nerve wracking. I had been biking on that stretch for 40 years. I now bike on Dummer Street which is one street over from Commonwealth Avenue to the BU bridge. It is more relaxing.

  5. By brad4d on Nov 15, 2013 | Reply


    I am frustrated as well, as I try to understand the economics of what human life is worth to the powers that be. Does any one know David Hemenway at Harvard?

    David Hemenway,Ph.D , is Director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. He teaches classes on injury and on economics.

    I recently tried to report the condition of Comm Ave on the Massbike website, they have a tab for reporting poor road conditions, but when I clicked on it, the site was not working.

    Below is what Jackie Douglas from Liveable Steets wrote about what it took to do something about conditions on Mass Ave bridge…maybe Jackie is the person you want to direct your concerns to. I have tried Pete Stidman from Boston Cyclist Union, Nicole Freedman—Boston Bike Zsar, and the editor of BostonBiker.

    “Over the weekend, MassDOT repaved the Mass Ave Bridge because YOU said you wanted a better bridge! This week it will be painted.
    Just as every new bike lane is a product of relentless advocacy, maintaining the lanes, smooth pavement and public support requires constant dedicated resources.”

    “We heard your complaints about the bridge for years, and documented the worsening conditions on the bridge… bumps in the pavement, gravel piling up, and disappearing bike lanes.”

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