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RIPTA Blocks Requests for Information from Family of Dead 9-Year-Old and Media

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

 

Ani Emdjian was killed in an accident with a RIPTA bus

Two years ago a nine-year-old girl named Ani Emdjian was killed by a RIPTA bus on Smith Street in Providence. The incident was just one of many accidents involving RIPTA buses - resulting in injuries and deaths.

Now, GoLocal has learned through court documents filed by the family of the girl against RIPTA, that lawyers for the agency are blocking the release of information relating previous accidents by the transportation agency.

One of the key requests by Emdjian’s attorney is for RIPTA to turn over “all documents concerning substantially similar incidents which occurred during the 5 years prior to the incident where it was alleged that an accident occurred due, at least in part, to the excessive speed of a RIPTA bus.”

RIPTA objected to providing such information, claiming that such a request would be "overly burdensome."

In court documents, RIPTA wrote in response to Emdjian, “Objection. The request as posed, is overly broad, unduly burdensome and not calculated to to the discovery of admissible evidence. More specifically, Defendant avers that a substantial number of claims are brought against the Transit Authority every year, many of which are baseless, and many of which include an allegation, however, well founded or otherwise, that involves speed. It is unduly burdensome to have the Transit Authority dedicate personnel to the man hours that would be required to comb through all such applicable documents to search for information which is not calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence in any event.”

"We're in the process of fighting [for that information]," said attorney Max Wistow, for the Emdjian family. "I think we will get it sooner or later, or whether there will be any information in there for it to be confidential, we will see."

Latest Explanation

RIPTA’s response in its court filing is inconsistent with its 2015 denial of a similar request for information filed by GoLocal.

The agency refused to provide accident reports to GoLocal. In April of 2015, GoLocal requested all RIPTA accident reports for the last three (3) years. The agency refused, “The documents you have requested are not considered public records under the Access to Public Records Act. Under section 38-2-2(4)(E) of the Act, they are exempt from disclosure because, as agency work product, they would not be available to an opposing party in litigation.” The response to GoLocal’s request was signed by Chief Legal Council Benjamin Salzillo.

Ray Studley, head of RIPTA and then Chair of the Board Scott Avedisian

Questions about Proper Management 

Central to the lawsuit - and overall questions regarding safety at RIPTA - is proper management of staff. A GoLocal investigation released earlier this month unveiled questions about massive usage of overtime in the agency. The overtime is approved by managers who themselves receive overtime. Of the roughly 800 budgeted positions at RIPTA, more than 95 percent of them are unionized and nearly every union employee is earning significant amounts of overtime. With managers managing line employees, there are little financial controls. More than 120 RIPTA employees made more than $20,000 in overtime in 2016. 

SEE LIST OF OVERTIME BELOW

Of RIPTA’s overall budget, 76.8 percent of the agency’s budget is spent on salaries, wages and benefits. By contrast, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) only spends 53.7 percent on personnel costs, according to United States Department of Transportation data.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has found that excessive overtime has an adverse impact on performance and safety for workers.

“In 16 of 22 studies addressing general health effects, overtime was associated with poorer perceived general health, increased injury rates, more illnesses, or increased mortality,” reported the CDC.

“Overtime was associated with unhealthy weight gain in two studies, increased alcohol use in two of three studies, increased smoking in one of two studies, and poorer neuropsychological test performance in one study.”

Is the excessive overtime also impacting the safety of the public?

RIPTA crash at the tunnel between N.Main St. and Thayer St.

“Six studies examining 12-hour shifts combined with more than 40 hours of work per week reported increases in health complaints, deterioration in performance, or slower pace of work,” wrote the CDC.

Lawyers for Emdjian's family asserted the following in their lawsuit against RIPTA. 

“Defendant RIPTA had a duty to exercise reasonable care in hiring, training and supervising its employees, including but not limited to (Eric) Seaberg (the RIPTA driver), in the safe operation of a bus,” 

 

Related Slideshow: Top 100 Overtimers at RIPTA

Prev Next

#100

JERIMAL BARNES

Salary: $45,170.54

Overtime: $22,707.39

Total: $67,877.93

Does not include benefits

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#99

BRENDA BRIERE

Salary: $60,302.26

Overtime: $22,801.78

Total: $83,104.04

Does not include benefits

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#98

MARSEL GARCIA

Salary: $47,368.14

Overtime: $22,832.61

Total: $70,200.75

Does not include benefits

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#97

JENNIFER DONAHAY

Salary: $57,083.95

Overtime: $22,910.62

Total: $79,994.54

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#96

JAMES GARCIA

Salary: $57,177.33

Overtime: $23,025.74

Total: $80,203.07

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#95

JEFFREY THERIAULT

Salary: $47,370.19

Overtime: $23,195.92

Total: $70,566.11

Does not include benefits

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#94

ANTOINIER PINTHIERE

Salary: $40,231.47

Overtime: $23,220.03

Total: $63,451.5

Does not include benefits

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#93

ARTHUR TILLEY

Salary: $60,646.22

Overtime: $23,319.01

Total: $83,965.23 

Does not include benefits

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#92

A JOSEPH DAOU

Salary: $40,226.29

Overtime: $23,518.67

Total: $63,744.96

Does not include benefits

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#91

ANTONIO LOPES

Salary: $37,807.65

Overtime: $23,591.75

Total: $61,399.4

Does not include benefits

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#90

PENELOPE CODY-HEROUX

Salary: $42,539.58

Overtime: $23,786.93

Total: $66,326.51

Does not include benefits

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#89

ABIODUN OSHIYEMI

Salary: $56,424.39

Overtime: $23,945.01

Total: $80,369.4

Does not include benefits

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#88

OSWALDO RIVERA

Salary: $33,963.10

Overtime: $24,169.54

Total: $58,132.64

Does not include benefits

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#87

NERY DURAN

Salary: $47,826.31

Overtime: $24,171.43

Total: $71,997.74

Does not include benefits

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#86

PIERRE CHARLES

Salary: $56,467.37

Overtime: $24,236.90

Total: $80,704.27

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#85

DAVID BLAIS

Salary: $62,316.27

Overtime: $24,281.46

Total: $86,597.73

Does not include benefits

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#84

ANTHONY WILLIAMS

Salary: $61,714.37

Overtime: $24,377.80

Total: $86,092.17 

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#83

NICHOLAS DECRISTOFARO

Salary: $59,374.23

Overtime: $24,557.13

Total: $83,931.36

Does not include benefits

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#82

GIOVANNI TIBURCIO

Salary: $59,579.49

Overtime: $24,645.30

Total: $84,224.79

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#81

WILLIAM FELCI

Salary: $61,242.21

Overtime: $24,721.23

Total: $85,963.44

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#80

MICHAEL CAMPOPIANO

Salary: $57,838.80

Overtime: $24,766.28

Total: $82,605.08

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#79

ROBERT ANDOSCIA

Salary: $70,601.28

Overtime: $24,787.80

Total: $95,389.08

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#78

MICHAEL PELLETIER

Salary: $59,553.13

Overtime: $24,798.52

Total: $84,351.65

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#77

JULES ROMAIN

Salary: $60,919.34

Overtime: $24,861.48

Total: $85,780.82

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#76

ERNST LUBIN

Salary: $65,183.76

Overtime: $25,318.42

Total: $90,502.18

Does not include benefits

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#75

CHARLES WILLIS

Salary: $65,945.25

Overtime: $25,544.98

Total: $91,490.23

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#74

STEPHEN ZACHAS

Salary: $64,362.72

Overtime: $25,594.00

Total: $89,956.72

Does not include benefits

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#73

ORLANDO SEMEDO

Salary: $61,694.61

Overtime: $25,688.86

Total: $87,383.47

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#72

DIMKY EDOUARD

Salary: $56,220.53

Overtime: $25,707.05

Total: $81,927.58

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#71

JAMES MANER

Salary: $60,082.03

Overtime: $25,771.87

Total: $85,853.9

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#70

MAURICE HOWIE

Salary: $70,170.11

Overtime: $26,013.00

Total: $96,183.11

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#69

FERNAND LAGUERRE

Salary: $59,563.90

Overtime: $26,014.51

Total: $85,578.41

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#68

KENNETH ATHAIDE

Salary: $65,816.19

Overtime: $26,238.96

Total: $92,055.15

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#67

DAVID LEMIRE

Salary: $64,622.21

Overtime: $26,673.94

Total: $91,296.15

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#66

KEVIN DECOSTA

Salary: $60,720.01

Overtime: $26,682.68

Total: $87,402.69

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#65

HENRY WILLIAMS

Salary: $75,864.00

Overtime: $26,901.18

Total: $102,765.18

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#64

CARLOS ROCHA

Salary: $72,422.30

Overtime: $26,924.37

Total: $99,346.67

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#63

CHARLES CAMPBELL

Salary: $54,881.00

Overtime: $27,059.66

Total: $81,940.66

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#62

ELEUTERIO TORTI

Salary: $60,846.67

Overtime: $27,175.79

Total: $88,022.46

Does not include benefits

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#61

ELDORA GIBLIN

Salary: $58,241.09

Overtime: $27,294.04

Total: $85,535.13

Does not include benefits

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#60

MEURIS MOQUETE

Salary: $67,626.46

Overtime: $27,478.84

Total: $95,105.3

Does not include benefits

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#59

EDDY PIERRE PHILIPPE

Salary: $68,720.56

Overtime: $27,539.27

Total: $96,259.83

Does not include benefits

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#58

JASON FERREIRA

Salary: $74,351.36

Overtime: $27,555.32

Total: 101,906.68

Does not include benefits

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#57

JAMES BIANCHI

Salary: $57,462.71

Overtime: $27,632.22

Total: $85,094.93

Does not include benefits

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#56

MARY HATHAWAY

Salary: $38,637.04

Overtime: $27,644.10

Total: $66,281.14

Does not include benefits

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#55

DENNIS DUGAN

Salary: $61,758.61

Overtime: $27,941.43

Total: $89,700.04

Does not include benefits

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#54

OSIEL OLIVA

Salary: $51,294.64

Overtime: $27,984.21

Total: $79,278.85

Does not include benefits

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#53

FIROUZ PAZHOUHANDEH

Salary: $63,288.54

Overtime: $28,013.90

Total: $91,302.44

Does not include benefits

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#52

LOVERIDGE AMOAKO

Salary: $68,757.43

Overtime: $28,127.17

Total: $96,884.6

Does not include benefits

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#51

DAVID MCGEE

Salary: $61,188.94

Overtime: $28,388.53

Total: $89,577.47

Does not include benefits

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#50

SLAV MALYUTA

Salary: $40,164.78

Overtime: $28,802.99

Total: $68,967.77

Does not include benefits

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#49

MILTON LUNA

Salary: $60,352.93

Overtime: $28,832.53

Total: 89,185.46

Does not include benefits

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#48

JOSEPH COLE

Salary: $65,644.69

Overtime: $29,904.84

Total: $95,549.53

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#47

GEORGE CURRAN

Salary: $68,968.48

Overtime: $30,022.05

Total: $98,990.53

Does not include benefits

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#46

PETER DZIEDZIC

Salary: $61,072.04

Overtime: $30,820.70

Total: $91,892.74

Does not include benefits

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#45

JORGE VIZCAINO

Salary: $67,905.35

Overtime: $30,900.19

Total: $98,805.54

Does not include benefits

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#44

BERT DEMERS

Salary: $65,121.68

Overtime: $31,222.21

Total: $96,343.89

Does not include benefits 

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#43

LENUS BAPTISTE

Salary: $39,874.52

Overtime: $31,283.90

Total: $71,158.42

Does not include benefits 

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#42

JOHN TANCREDI

Salary: $69,805.26

Overtime: $31,362.49

Total: $101,167.75

Does not include benefits

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#41

SAMUEL RIVERA

Salary: $47,874.95

Overtime: $31,394.86

Total: $76,269.81

Does not include benefits

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#40

RAYMOND LEE

Salary: $67,935.57

Overtime: $31,442.45

Total: $99,378.02

Does not include benefits

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#39

ALBERT CARDILLO

Salary: $60,086.08

Overtime: $31,736.42

Total: $91,822.5

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#38

XIOMARA PACHECO

Salary: $68,383.37

Overtime: $31,819.18

Total: $100,202.55

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#37

SHELDON WILLIAMS

Salary: $60,798.37

Overtime: $31,849.70

Total: $92,648.07

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#36

WELLINGTON TAVAREZ

Salary: $58,525.45

Overtime: $32,213.38

Total: $90,738.83

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#35

DAVID NOVSAM

Salary: $61,966.07

Overtime: $32,414.02

Total: $94,380.09

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#34

MARILYN RAPOSA

Salary: $60,837.44

Overtime: $32,555.86

Total: $93,393.3

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#33

JEAN LOUIS

Salary: $64,816.03

Overtime: $32,768.48

Total: $97,584.51

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#32

ANTONIO VARGAS

Salary: $56,851.23

Overtime: $33,014.32

Total: $89,865.55

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#31

FRED NASH

Salary: $39,037.18

Overtime: $33,286.43

Total: $72,323.61

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#30

MATTHEW BORGES

Salary: $61,538.40

Overtime: $33,312.95

Total: $94,851.35

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#29

DANILO PAULINO

Salary: $57,872.33

Overtime: $33,391.43

Total: $91,263.76

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#28

OSCAR DELCID

Salary: $61,871.52

Overtime: $34,594.63

Total: $96,466.15

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#27

BENJAMIN CABRERA

Salary: $48,300.97

Overtime: $35,264.78

Total: $83,565.75

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#26

FELIX TERRERO

Salary: $57,890.97

Overtime: $35,267.81

Total: $93,158.78

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#25

EDMUND MELLO

Salary: $62,106.72

Overtime: $35,272.97

Total: $97,379.69

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#24

LAWRENCE ONYE

Salary: $60,037.59

Overtime: $35,655.53

Total: $95,693.12

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#23

DONALD SPELLMAN

Salary: $60,171.53

Overtime: $35,959.88

Total: $96,131.41

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#22

VICTOR FERREIRA

Salary: $49,687.19

Overtime: $36,268.59

Total: $85,955.78

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#21

JEAN ALTERA

Salary: $64,439.65

Overtime: $36,722.77

Total: $101,162.42

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#20

KEVIN CAHILL

Salary: $61,882.27

Overtime: $36,831.63

Total: $98,713.9

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#19

DAVID ST.GERMAIN

Salary: $58,210.46

Overtime: $37,099.91

Total: $95,310.37

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#18

MARIAN LONCZAK

Salary: $74,721.30

Overtime: $38,320.12

Total: $113,041.42

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#17

LAWRENCE THORNTON

Salary: $58,770.93

Overtime: $39,139.03

Total: $97,909.96

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#16

JULIO ROCA

Salary: $66,959.54

Overtime: $39,256.56

Total: $106,216.1

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#15

JEFFREY ROY

Salary: $60,785.53

Overtime: $40,374.83

Total: $101,160.36

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#14

PAUL PRICE

Salary: $60,574.83

Overtime: $40,782.05

Total: $101,356.88

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#13

JOSEPH LIMA

Salary: $65,717.90

Overtime: $42,067.18

Total: $107,785.08

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#12

JULIEN RAVENEAU

Salary: $62,387.59

Overtime: $43,244.80

Total: $105,632.39

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#11

STEPHEN MIELE

Salary: $62,797.76

Overtime: $45,612.73

Total: $108,410.49

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#10

PASCO MACARI

Salary: $59,191.64

Overtime: $45,837.34

Total: $105,028.98

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#9

LIVINGSTON CICERON

Salary: $57,473.30

Overtime: $46,234.44

Total: $103,707.74

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#8

STEPHEN FARRELL

Salary: $63,534.81

Overtime: $46,880.08

Total: $110,414.89

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#7

PAPA NDIAYE

Salary: $57,226.65

Overtime: $46,898.01

Total: $104,124.66

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#6

WILLIAM BLAIR

Salary: $61,665.97

Overtime: $48,069.52

Total: $109,735.49

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#5

LYNN HENDERSON

Salary: $61,909.12

Overtime: $51,238.23

Total: $113,147.35

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#4

RAYMOND HOLT

Salary: $74,738.88

Overtime: $52,280.20

Total: $127,019.08

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#3

DENNIS CONNOLLY

Salary: $60,932.98

Overtime: $53,056.52

Total: $113,989.5

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#2

JOHN REALL

Salary: $61,145.00

Overtime: $53,766.95

Total: $114,911.95

Does not include benefits

Prev Next

#1

JOSEPH MONTI

Salary: $84,823.35

Overtime: $58,359.06

Total: $143,182.41

Does not include benefits

 
 

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