The MBTA is being sued for the 2021 Green Line crash

A passenger who was on one of the trains that crashed says he racked up nearly $40,000 in medical expenses.

Investigators at the scene of the crash between two Green Line trains near 971 Commonwealth Ave. in July 2021. Barry Chin / The Boston Globe

A passenger in the July 2021 MBTA Green Line crash is suing the transit agency over the broken ribs and collapsed lung he says he suffered in the collision — injuries that allegedly cost him tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills.

In a lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court earlier this month, Allston resident Huan Qiang Lei said he was on one of the Green Line B branch trains in the July 30, 2021, rear-end collision that injured 27. 

He said he was “thrown violently about the interior of the train car” and was hurt in the crash, his injuries including rib fractures and pneumothorax, or a collapsed lung.


“As a direct and proximate result of the defendant’s negligence, the plaintiff [Lei] suffered personal injury and damages, including multiple, severe, and ongoing injuries to his body and mind, medical bills and expenses, pain and suffering, emotional harm and distress, and loss of income,” according to the complaint.

Green Line Crash

He argued that the MBTA “owed … a duty to exercise reasonable care in the operation of its train cars. By failing to keep a safe distance between train cars and by operating train cars at an unsafe speed, the defendant breached said duty.”

Lei is seeking damages and attorney’s fees. According to court documents, he claims the crash cost him nearly $40,000 in medical expenses, as well as $5,000 in lost wages. 

Reached for comment on the lawsuit, an MBTA spokesperson said it is the agency’s practice not to comment on pending litigation. 

Owen Turner, the driver whose train struck another near the Babcock Street stop, told investigators that he blacked out and may have fallen asleep, according to a National Transportation Safety Board report issued late last year. 

The NTSB report determined that the probable cause of the crash was the driver’s “loss of situational awareness,” which resulted in the train accelerating to 33 mph — exceeding the Green Line’s 25 mph speed limit. The MBTA later fired Turner, according to the report. 


The 51-year-old driver was acquitted of negligence in the crash earlier this year. Evidentiary rules barred Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Addady from telling jurors that 27 people were injured in the crash, or describing the extent of their injuries, The Boston Globe reported at the time.

Jurors also did not learn that Turner had been suspended on six occasions — including for speeding — during his seven years with the MBTA, according to the Globe.


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