Holtz & Reed Secures Summary Judgment for the MBTA

Posted on: Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Holtz & Reed obtained summary judgment for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in Suffolk Superior Court last week.  In Cook v. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the plaintiff, who had not physically worked for the MBTA since 2003, filed suit against the MBTA claiming the MBTA owed her a pension.  A former bus operator, the plaintiff failed to recognize her suit would be more properly brought against the administrator of her pension, the MBTA Retirement Board, not her former employer.  Jay Sullivan and Matt Christoph represented the MBTA throughout the litigation.

In filing the summary judgment motion, the MBTA illustrated the distinction between both agencies, citing case law from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court indicating the MBTA is separate and distinct from the MBTA Retirement Board.  In their supporting memorandum, Sullivan and Christoph wrote that the plaintiff “sued the wrong party in the wrong forum, thus, no relief can be granted by the MBTA.”  Following oral argument on October 15, 2014, Judge Heidi Brieger allowed the MBTA’s motion and wrote, “After a hearing and careful review of the parties’ written submissions, this Motion is allowed for all of the reasons stated in open court and for the reasons set out in the MBTA’s memorandum of law.”

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