Case Conclusion Date: 12.07.2007
Practice Area: Wrongful death
Outcome: $4.9 Million Verdict
Description: A jury awarded $6.1 million to the family of a Cape Cod man killed as a result of a 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. 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.