$6.1 million award over death— Man killed in ‘03 stadium crash
Published by The Boston Herald, December 20, 2007
By Jay Fitzgerald
A jury has awarded $6.1 million to the family of a Cape Cod man killed as a result of a bizarre 2003 accident at Gillette Stadium in which a steel gate smashed through the windshield of a bus and pinned terrified passengers inside for an hour.
The Suffolk Superior Court jury found Foxboro Realty—owner of Gillette Stadium and part of the Kraft family’s sprawling business empire that includes the New England Patriots—and two other firms negligent for the fatal mishap that also injured a woman so badly she had to have a leg amputated.
The jury awarded the widow of Thomas Kelly, who died of injuries a few days after the Aug. 29, 2003, incident, $1.82 million and Kelly’s two sons $1.14 million each. After medical expenses, interest payments and other costs were included, the final ruling in the Kellys’ favor was $6.1 million.
Larry Kenney, a lawyer for Foxboro Realty, said his client will likely appeal the jury’s ruling, handed down Tuesday. A spokesman for the Krafts referred questions to Kenney.
Kelly, 64, a resident of Yarmouth, was among a group of passengers on a shuttle bus returning to the Foxboro stadium from the Deutsche Bank Championship professional golf tournament in Norton. A heavy gate blown shut by the wind crashed into the bus, severely injuring some passengers.
“There was debris everywhere. We pushed the windows open. We yelled, ‘We need an ambulance. We need to call 911,’ ” one passenger recalled at the time, according to published reports.
Three of the 16 injured were later airlifted to an area hospital.
Other injured passengers have previously settled their cases out of court, including a woman who had one of her legs amputated below the knee, according to Kelly attorney Andrew C. Meyer Jr. of Boston’s Lubin & Meyer P.C.
Also found guilty of negligence by the jury were Apollo Security and Standard Parking, which are independent firms that worked for Foxboro Realty. Their attorneys could not be reached for comment yesterday.