One of three relatives of a 65-year-old man who was fatally injured when struck by an Expo Line train at the 17th Street Station in Santa Monica in 2019 was ordered to pay $600 in attorneys’ fees to Metro Monday for allegedly not complying with the agency’s discovery requests.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Thomas D. Long’s ruling came in a lawsuit stemming from the death of Ronnie Solomon, which occurred about 8:30 a.m. Jan. 15, 2019, according to the coroner’s office and the Sheriff’s Transit Services Bureau. The plaintiffs are Deonta Tyree Solomon, Jeris Venwalas King and Esther Valery Person. The suit identifies them as surviving heirs of Ronnie Solomon but does not state their relationship to him.
Last May, Metro had asked Deonta Solomon to respond to a series of written questions and the agency’s lawyers filed a request for attorneys’ fees when she allegedly failed to do so. Then, on Jan. 22, Long granted a request by Jeffrey A. Milman to withdraw as the plaintiffs’ attorney, leaving them to represent themselves.
Deonta Solomon did not appear or send a representative to Monday’s hearing when the judge granted Metro’s motion to compel discovery and awarded attorneys’ fees.
The suit alleges wrongful death, premises liability and negligent hiring, supervision and retention. While trying to board the train, Solomon fell onto the tracks between it and another train, the suit states. The conductor did not see Solomon and the train began to move, dragging and killing him, the suit states.
The suit alleges the conductor was negligently trained and failed to make sure all people were clear of the tracks before the train departed. The suit further alleges Solomon was not given adequate medical treatment.