The family of a man severely injured when a 250-pound storm grate slammed through his windshield on Route 128 last July said in a lawsuit filed yesterday that the airborne grate was a type barred from use on expressways where high-speed traffic could dislodge them.
Robert Norton, lawyer for Pawel Swierczynski, argues in the suit that the grate, and 23 others along a stretch of the highway in Westwood, should never have been installed because state construction standards specified that they were "not to be used on expressways, freeways, etc."
The grates, which have openings in the pattern of a waffle iron, are designed so that bicycle wheels won't get stuck in them and should be used "only . . . where bicycle travel is legally allowed," according to excerpts from the construction rules provided by Norton.