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Prison Bus Overturned, 1 Injured

Law Firm of Walter Gabriel March 2, 2021

A prison bus overturned on 1-85 in Gwinnett County, GA. The accident happened in the southbound lanes of Interstate 85 near Sugarloaf Parkway just after 5:00 am Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

Authorities closed southbound lanes of I-85 while they investigated the cause of the crash early morning crash. Investigators did not say where the Phillips State Prison bus was transporting inmates at the time of the crash. One inmate was hospitalized after the prison bus overturned. Gwinnett County police transferred all other inmates to a different vehicle.

Phillips State Prison is a medium-security prison housing male inmates in Buford, GA.

Do Georgia Inmates Have the Right to Sue?

Paragraph IX of Georgia’s Bill Rights states that “[t]he people have the right to assemble peaceably for their common good and to apply by petition or remonstrance to those vested with the powers of government for redress of grievances.” In plain English, this means that all people have the right to sue the State of Georgia in court. The Georgia Constitution does not ban inmates from suing the government, nor does any known Georgia statutes or case law.

However, the laws that allow for suing the government in Georgia are very strict, and noncompliance will result in a court dismissing a suit against a Georgia public entity. The following are the statutes that apply to Georgia entities:

Against cities – O.C.G.A. § 36-33-5

Against counties – O.C.G.A. § 36-11-1

Against state entities – O.C.G.A § 50-21-26.

In Camp v. Coweta County, 280 Ga. 199 (Ga. 2006), the plaintiff, David Lamar Camp, was an inmate who was injured while on a work detail at the Coweta County Fairgrounds. The plaintiff named the Georgia Department of Corrections, Coweta County, and other parties as defendants. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss Mr. Camp’s lawsuit. But, NOT because Mr. Camp was an inmate. The defendants’ motion to dismiss was based on the fact that Mr. Camp did not timely mail a copy of the complaint to the Attorney General, as required by O.C.G.A. § 50-21-35.

The issue was decided by the Georgia Supreme Court, which held that Mr. Camp’s claim against Coweta County, Georgia was dismissed because Mr. Camp did not comply with Georgia’s complicated requirements for lawsuits against Georgia cities, counties, and state agencies. What is notable is that no defendant challenged Mr. Camp’s ability to sue because he was an inmate. Why? Because Mr. Camp indeed had the right to sue. In fact, any Georgia inmate in the same situation has the right to sue.

Contact Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney Walter Gabriel

Atlanta personal injury attorney Walter Gabriel has experience handling lawsuits against Georgia public entities, and knows how to get results, including a $395,000 settlement against a Georgia County due to the negligence of one of its deputy sheriffs. Atlanta personal injury attorney Walter Gabriel handles cases involving civil rights.

Personal injury attorney Walter Gabriel is very familiar with Georgia’s strict requirements when filing suit against Georgia public entities. For a breakdown of filing deadlines against Georgia cities, counties, and state agencies, click here.

You Pay Nothing Unless You Win

Atlanta personal injury attorney Walter Gabriel guarantees you will pay nothing, unless you win. That means you can go about your daily routines without worrying over how to pay attorney’s fees. Find out if you have a case. Call 404-549-6742 or submit a case evaluation form online to request a free and confidential consultation with a skilled Atlanta personal injury lawyer at the Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC today.