MARTA Injury Claims

Every year hundreds of thousands of people rely on the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) for transportation around metro-Atlanta. Unfortunately, people have been physically assaulted on MARTA buses and trains, and at MARTA stations and parking lots. In 2008, MARTA gained worldwide infamy after a young woman (whom the Internet sadly dubbed “Soulja Girl”) verbally assaulted and nearly attacked an elderly woman on a MARTA train. But this incident is far from the worst thing that has occurred on MARTA property. According to crime statistics compiled by the MARTA Police Department, there were 26 robberies and 63 aggravated assaults in 2021 alone. See MARTA Police Department Crime Statistics.

Is MARTA Liable for Injuries to its Passengers?

Under Georgia law, the duty that a carrier of passengers owes to those passengers is codified in O.C.G.A. § 46-9-132: “[a] carrier of passengers must exercise extraordinary diligence to protect the lives and persons of his passengers but is not liable for injuries to them after having used such diligence.” The term “extraordinary diligence” is defined as “that extreme care and caution which very prudent and thoughtful persons exercise under the same or similar circumstances.” O.C.G.A. § 51-1-3; MARTA v. Rouse, 279 Ga. 311, 311 (2005). A person riding a MARTA train becomes a “passenger” after he has paid the fare and gone through the turnstile to await a train. Walker v. Metro. Atlanta Rta, 226 Ga. App. 793, 795 (1997). If a MARTA passenger is injured and a reasonable carrier exercising extraordinary care would have foreseen that the passenger was in danger of injury, then MARTA will be liable if it “fail[ed] or neglect[ed] to take the proper precautions or to use proper means to prevent or mitigate such injury[.]” Rouse, 279 Ga. at 312.

When are Injuries Caused by Violent Criminals on MARTA Foreseeable?

“When the event causing the harm to the passenger is a criminal act by a third party, the duty of the carrier to exercise extraordinary diligence to prevent that criminal act arises only if the carrier has reason to anticipate the criminal act.” Walker, 226 Ga. App. at 795. One might think that MARTA’s crime statistics alone would put MARTA on notice that dangerous conditions exist on all MARTA trains and buses. But proving liability isn’t so simple.

To prove that MARTA had reason to anticipate the criminal act (i.e., that the criminal act was reasonably foreseeable), the plaintiff passenger may present evidence of “prior violent activity.” See Walker, 226 Ga. App. at 795. That evidence may include knowledge that a particular person possesses dangerous propensities, or that a particular route has a history of violent and assaultive conduct against passengers. See id.

Once the plaintiff passenger proves that MARTA had a duty to exercise ordinary diligence to prevent the criminal act, the plaintiff must then prove that MARTA breached its duty, and that this breach was the proximate cause of his injury. The plaintiff may show that MARTA breached its duty by demonstrating that MARTA’s security measures were inadequate or were performed in a negligent manner.


There are several potential defenses to liability in these types of negligent security/premises liability cases. So, you should retain a MARTA injury attorney as soon as possible. The team at SMITH LAW will determine whether you have a viable claim, guide you through the legal maze, and help you recover the maximum compensation for your loss.

Located in Dacula in Gwinnett County, SMITH LAW handles MARTA injury claims throughout the state of Georgia. Call us now at (678) 889-5191 or click the button below to find out whether our MARTA injury lawyers can help.

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Disclaimer: the information on this website isn’t legal advice and doesn’t create an attorney-client relationship. Don’t rely on the information.