Family sues MARTA for negligence months after contractor's death

NORTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — The widow of a MARTA contractor who was killed on the rail line has sued the agency, alleging multiple breaches of safety standards.

Robert Smith, 38, died in June after he was struck by a northbound train near Medical Center Station.

At the time of the incident, the Griffin man was employed by the Cleveland Electric company. He was in his work vehicle when he was hit by the train.

[READ MORE: Feds investigating death of MARTA contractor]

In a lawsuit filed in Fulton Superior Court this week, Michelle Smith alleges negligence in her husband’s death.

The suit outline claims that MARTA failed to cut off the trains to Smith’s work area, stop the oncoming train, provide proper lookout or even warn Smith of the oncoming train.


It also eludes to further negligence. Smith's attorney told Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr that the incident resulted in job loss at the agency.

“We’ve discovered that as a result of Rob’s accident, his death, there’s been two individuals that have been terminated and one has resigned, apparently as a direct result of what happened,” said attorney Rudjard Hayes.

“MARTA has a duty to keep workers, contractors safe and we are alleging, and what I think the evidence will show once we get to that point, is that they failed to meet the minimum standards,” Hayes continued.

Channel 2 Action News has not been able to obtain records tied to the deadly accident, with MARTA citing the ongoing federal investigation. The National Transportation Safety Board has not yet completed its investigation.

MARTA declined to respond to the allegations, citing pending litigation.

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