Dad suing TriMet after 3-year old stranded at MAX station

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by KGW and Associated Press

NWCN.com

Posted on February 23, 2010 at 9:49 AM

PORTLAND -- The father of a 3-year-old boy who was left stranded at a MAX light-rail station last fall is suing Portland's TriMet transit system, according to the Oregonian.

In his $300,000 lawsuit filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, Aaron Bailey contends the transit system should be held accountable for actions of its employees, the report said.

The train operator was fired back in November, after TriMet's investigation into the incident. The operator ignored emergency intercom messages from Bailey, who was aboard the train after his son was left behind at the station on Nov. 16.

TriMet officials told KGW Monday that they had not yet received a copy of the lawsuit.

'Operator's actions unacceptable'

Bailey said that the MAX train's door closed before his son, Aiden, could climb aboard. He was on his way to his son's Head Start class and the Green Line was approaching the Main Street Platform when the doors opened. Then, as Aiden stepped out onto the platform, the doors shut, separating the child from his father.

"I frantically tried to push the open button, but they didn’t open, “ Bailey said.

A Good Samaritan who had been standing on the MAX platform took Aiden by the hand and waited on the bench, according to a statement issued by TriMet on Nov. 20.

TriMet said the operator ignored four calls on the emergency intercom system on November 16, which created a potential danger. KGW identified the driver as Paul Cooper.

“This operator’s actions were unacceptable,” TriMet General Manager Fred Hansen said. “They also do not represent our 1,300 operators who everyday deliver quality service to thousands of riders.”

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