Los Angeles–48-year-old Cameron Cuthbertson was on his way to church from his home in Compton when tradegy struck the lay minister who was struck blind by glaucoma in his early 20s. According to reports, Cuthbertson was attempting to board a Metro Blue Line train when he accidentally stepped between two train cars instead of walking in a door. Other passengers shouted to the train operator to wait as the man attempted to climb back onto the platform after realizing the mistake. In addition, the operator received several radio calls pleading her to wait. Unfortunately, the three-car train departed before Cuthbertson could get back up, crushing his body.
On Friday a Los Angeles jury found the train agency negligent in Cuthbertson’s death and awarded $17 million to his mother. The entire incident was caught on multiple security cameras and shown to jurors several times. Cuthbertson’s attorneys argued that the train agency was negligent for failing to install protective barriers between the cars, despite the fact that many blind people use the trains on a regular basis. In fact, the Blue Line is the oldest of all Metro’s lines and is the only one without barriers.
In addition, the jury also found that the train operator, Rosie Haynes, was neligent in Cuthbertson’s death as she stopped two feet away from where she was supposed to, leading Cuthbertson to mistakenly walk between the train cars. Metro’s attorneys maintained that the train agency was exempt from the requirements entailed in the Americans with Disabilities Act as it was built before the act took effect.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.