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MARTA Bus Passenger Awarded $1.65 Million Settlement

A woman injured while riding a Metropolitan Atlanta Transit Authority bus has received a $1.65 million settlement from the city of Atlanta. Cathy Burdin was injured when a wheelchair ramp closed on her foot. The Settlement was reached as the case started trial proceedings.

Her attorney, Tom Pope III said that the case might have settled earlier, but the city felt that her injuries weren’t as severe as alleged. There were no broken bones in her foot, but she purportedly experienced extensive soft-tissue damage that turned into complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).

Accident Avoidable

According to the complaint, the accident happened because of the negligence of an inexperienced and under-trained employee. Burdin stepped to the front of the bus to get off when the driver activated a hydraulic lift at the top of the steps which raised the wheelchair ramp.

She then then tripped over the lift causing the trainee driver to lower the lift which then landed on her foot. The driver froze not knowing what to do, and a supervisor had to come in and physically move the lift off of her foot.

Permanent Damage

Burdin’s doctors testified in depositions that she received permanent nerve damage and that she would experience some level of pain for the rest of her life. MARTA attorneys disagreed with these conclusions and had their own doctor testify that she did not have CRPS. However, on cross-their expert admitted that in all the cases he had testified regarding CRPS, he didn’t conclude that any of those injured actually had CRPS.

The parties were set at a scheduling conference where they would have set a trial date when they worked out the final details on the settlement.

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