I-Team: Woman Hurt At ’07 Boston Marathon Suing Police

BOSTON (CBS) – It was a crash course in the middle of the 2007 Boston Marathon when a woman run was down by a state trooper while she was watching the race. Now, that woman is fighting back, claiming state police tried to cover up their role in the accident.

WBZ-TV video from the marathon will play a key role in this case.

“Seeing it in the video confirmed what I remembered, but it’s painful to watch it,” said Norma Shulman, the victim.

WBZ-TV’s Kathy Curran reports.

The video shows Shulman being knocked to the ground by a state police motorcycle while she watched the Boston Marathon back in 2007 in Natick.

Now, Shulman is suing the state police, Sgt. Dennis Bertulli, who drove the motorcycle, and the lieutenant who investigated the accident, accusing them of negligence, battery and civil rights violations.

“Something higher on the bike hit me in the ribs,” said Shulman.

Our I-Team investigation called into question a state police report, which blamed Shulman for the accident.

marathondiagram I Team: Woman Hurt At 07 Boston Marathon Suing Police

This police report diagram shows the officer's account of the accident.

The report contained a diagram showing the Framingham woman stepping into the path of the motorcycle.


“It sounded like I did something that I didn’t do. It said I entered the roadway and I had my back to traffic and I struck the vehicle. It was like a nightmare to see this,” said Shulman.

The state police aren’t backing down. Timothy Burke represents Lt. William Cederquist, who wrote the accident report.

“He’ll tell you she did not have a right to be there, that there’s a very short time period that Sgt. Bertulli had to react given the rate of speed and his location to these women,” said Burke.

“The feeling of injustice and feeling powerless can make you really have symptoms you know, feel sick to your stomach and anxious,” said Shulman.

After the I-Team exposed the case, it was reviewed again by state police. They subsequently found Bertulli and Shulman were at fault.

Shulman was diagnosed with a chest contusion, and she also had back pain. She wants the state to pay for her medical bills, but this case is more about how the state police handled the accident.

State police had no comment on Monday because of the pending litigation.

Lt. Cederquist is the commander of the motorcycle unit for state police. Sgt. Bertulli, meanwhile, has since retired.

The trial is supposed to wrap up by the end of the week.

  • sean

    she shouldn’t have been in the street…the sidewalk is there for a reason.

  • Witness

    After watching tape definitely cops fault should have been in control of vehicle

  • Paul

    She was absolutely facing away from oncoming runners and the officer on the motorcycle just prior to impact. She was also standing partially in the street where she should not have been. Add to that the overly dramatic fall she took upon impact, she should pay damages for shame and suffering to anyone who knows this woman. She is fortunate she only recieved contusions (bruises) for her neglect to stay out of the path of the oncoming runners and motorcycle escort. It is a wonder that someone so incompetent has survived this long.

  • Watch OUT

    She should NOT have been in the Street. It is her own fault …DUMMY

  • sophie

    The lady was not in the street. She was behind the white line (as there was no sidewalk there). That video doesn’t show it, but I do remember when this happened. I think what people should be more concerned about is how the Mass State police tried to cover up the incident. If they would cover up something like this what else do they cover up???

  • hackwannabe2

    It does not matter if she was supposed to be there or not.
    She got hit. Period.
    Cop should have stopped and waited for an ambulance.
    Leaving the scene of an accident.
    Hit and run.
    Anyone else would be behind bars.
    Sorry, cops lose this one.

  • Biff

    She clearly is NOT paying attention, and is the only one with her foot off the curb (this is in the street people). She should just chalk it up to brain-fart, take some responsibility and get beyond it. Nothing to see here people, move along….
    And yeah… nice overacting there. Watching too much Pro-B-ball? Only a patented William Shatner shoulder roll could top that performance.

  • Jack Ross

    People love to point the finger, unless ofcourse its them. Im sure all the people who condemned this woman would be crying foul if they were in here shoes. A Bunch of HYPOCRITES.

  • another spectator

    The officer is in the road between the runners and the sidewalk where he is supposed to be to protect the runners from the spectators as the motorcycle escort. The street belongs to the runners and the race vehicles – not the spectators and to turn her back to oncoming runners and vehicles – stupid! She definitely had her back to them with her foot in the street. Absolutely her fault! Negligence – right – hers! Civil rights violations and battery – ridiculous! She should pay for trying to tie up the courts and costing the state and all of us money with her frivolous lawsuit.

    • NickW


  • denise

    Sorry – if it was joe blow – he would have been thrown in jail for leaving the scene of an accident. the cop didn’t even stop to see if she was ok! if all she wanted was an apology then they are stupid for not giving her one and they’re responsible for thier own consequences.

  • http://www.88guobao.com/Medical/archives/lastest-medical-negligence-litigation-news.html Lastest Medical Negligence Litigation News | Medical | Medical Malpractice Lawyer Guides

    […] I-Team: Woman Hurt At ’07 Boston Marathon Suing Police It was a crash course in the middle of the 2007 Boston Marathon when a woman run was down by a state trooper while she was watching the race. Now, that woman is fighting back, claiming state police tried to cover up their role in the accident. Read more on CBS Boston […]

  • Truth

    Back in This story was originally brought to the I-Team’s attention by Ms. Shulman to garner support for this lawsuit. The only reason this story is getting coverage now by the I-Team is that Joe Bergantino the former I-Team member is listed as a possible witness for the defense. Read the court docs posted on the web. Comical. There is one major fact that has not been mentioned in this article. Ms. Shulman is seeking $250,000 compensation from the State of Massachusetts for what amounts to a minor bruise. She fails to take any responsibility for her own failure to obey the officer”s commands to get back because she wasn’t paying attention. Sad to see that she thinks she can con the state out of 250K of taxpayer money. Investigate that I-Team.

  • Marathon volunteer

    It should be obvious to anyone that you don’t step into the street and turn your back to oncoming traffic – in this case both runners and escort vehicles. The runners were very close to the curb. That’s obvious from the video. This idiot was in the way, not even looking at what was coming up behind her. What was the officer – who was supposed to be the motorcycle escort for the lead women – supposed to do? – Serve away from this idiot and into the runners?? Also It did seem like when the women finally turned back to face traffic she was more out in the street. Should the officer have stopped and left the lead women without a police escort for this idiot who had just a few bruises? It didn’t appear that she was seriously injured and in fact I saw the same thing happen last year to a man in Newton who was too far into the street same kind of situation. No one stopped then either but he was more embarrassed than anything else. This is all about this womean trying to make big money off of her own stupidi actions. Disgraceful!

  • Marla

    I have watched the marathon from this very spot with Norma on several occasions. We were always told to stay behind the white line on the street which she was. Anyone has watched the marathon knows you are not always looking at oncoming traffic you are supporting all the runners and looking for someone you know you may be looking away from traffic. That being said maybe she didn’t hear the motorcycle comming the officer should have slowded and stopped and radiod ahead for another officer to take his place instead of moing down a woman, then keep going. He whould have respected her enough to give her a chance to move or he could have stopped and issued her a sitation for being in the road, not done what he did. I do not believe she did anything wrong we were always told by other moorcycle cops to stay behind the white line!

  • Cynic

    In the Street,out of the Street.Paying Attention,Not paying attention that is not the point. Things Happen. What is the point is what the State Police do Afterwards. Whether they pull a man out of a car and beat him to death at a sobriety checkpoint or run over a jogger they always do the same. If the Staties knew that the Woman was not going to “Just Forget IT’… They would have ‘Charged Her” with SOMETHING.

  • Cynic

    After watching the Viseo several times this is what I see. The Pavement is wet so it obviously is raining.(Being April I assume it is also Chilly).The woman is wearing some sort of raingear with a hood.She has her left foot up on the Curb. Her Right foot is on the pavement between the white line and the curb.The curb is between her legs.
    She Turns to her left as if to follow the path of a particular runner. She begins to turn back to her right,she almost completes her turn when she is struck by the Motorcycle.The Motorcycle does not stop.
    According to the Police drawing she is several feet up on the grass then enters the roadway and goes to the CENTER of the road where she strikes the motorcycle. This Is NOT TRUE…..In the vernacular; It is a Friggin’ LIE. It is no wonder that the Police hate Video.

  • Cynic

    If you look closely,The Motorcycle is stradling the white line with it’s left handlebar extended over the curb as though the Trooper is using the Bike to Push people back. It isn’t on the centerline of the street as shown in the drawing.

  • Cynic

    The more I read this the more facets I see of it…..When did the Lt. Write the accident report? AFTER It became obvious that the Woman was going to hold them accountable? What is the Date of the accident report? Is it the true date the report was written? Why didn’t the operater of the Motorcycle make out the accident report?. It is his responsibility. It appears that he not only failed to stop after causing personal injury,he didn’t even report it. The Lt appears to be just doing his part in covering for the Cop.

  • http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/02/18/state-police-ordered-to-pay-woman-15k-for-marathon-crash/ State Police Ordered To Pay Woman $15,500 For 2007 Boston Marathon Motorcycle CrashCBS Boston

    […] (CBS) – A woman who was run down by a state trooper during the 2007 Boston Marathon was awarded $15,500 by a jury Friday for injuries she suffered in […]

  • NickW

    She was on the street and not where she was supposed to be. Plain and simple. I think this is an ambulance chaser case. Shame on her!

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