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MARTA Faces Trial Next Week Over Fall That Left Paratransit Bus Rider in Vegetative State

Posted by Arlin Crisco on Nov 1, 2018 5:41:04 PM

Bus-photo

Stock image. 


Atlanta—Trial is set to begin next week over whether MARTA, the Metropolitan Atlanta Regional Transit Authority, is responsible for a fall from a paratransit bus that left a rider with catastrophic brain damage. Johnson v. MARTA, 2017CV287279. 

According to the pre-trial order filed in the case, Jaccolah Johnson suffered a traumatic brain injury when she fell from a “MARTA Mobility” bus in January 2016. The fall left Johnson, who suffered from mobility issues before the fall, in a permanent vegetative state.

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Johnson’s guardian, Rachel Tyler, contends a combination of the bus’s angled step, the lack of a sufficient handrail system, and the bus driver’s failure to shadow Johnson, caused the fall.

Tyler, represented by attorneys from Fried Rogers Goldberg, The Singleton Law Firm, and Eyre Law & Mediation, is seeking more than $7.2 million in medical expenses, plus unspecified damages for pain and suffering.

MARTA, represented by attorneys from Mabry & McClelland, contends Johnson, who had ridden the same paratransit bus without incident in the past, is responsible for the fall because she rejected the driver’s offer of assistance and overstepped the bus’s first step despite holding onto the vehicle’s handrail as she exited.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Todd Markle is presiding over the trial, which is expected to last five days, with jury selection scheduled to begin Monday. 

CVN will cover the trial, providing updates via its news page, as well as gavel-to-gavel video on demand as soon as possible after the trial’s conclusion.

Related Information

Rachel Tyler is represented by Fried Rogers Goldberg’s Michael Goldberg and Joseph Fried, The Singleton Law Firm’s Donald Singleton, and Eyre Law & Mediation’s Melanie Eyre, according to court documents.

MARTA is represented by Mabry & McClelland’s James Scarbrough, Dawn Pettigrew, and Rachel Reed, according to court records.

CVN will provide updates on the trial via its news page and gavel-to-gavel video, on demand, as soon as possible after the verdict. 

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Topics: Johnson v. MARTA, Transportation, Georgia