Jury awards $35 million to Marietta man beaten outside Six Flags

A Marietta man who sustained brain damage in a 2007 fight just outside Six Flags Over Georgia has been awarded $35 million by jurors who found the theme park largely liable for the beating.

Joshua Martin, 19 at the time, spent several days in a coma after he was punched and kicked repeatedly by four seasonal employees of the park. According to Martin’s attorneys, Six Flags security personnel were aware of the altercation and should have intervened in the incident, which began in the park and continued in a nearby parking lot.

“The jury understood the evidence that Six Flags tolerated its employees being in gangs and ignored the culture of violence on its property,” Martin co-counsel Andy Rogers said. “Had Six Flags addressed these issues and provided reasonable security, Josh’s beating would not have happened.”

Lawyers for the Austell amusement park contended that the assault occurred off its property and that the park was thus not liable for Martin’s injuries.

“The jury verdict is not justified by the facts and we are determining our next steps,” Six Flags said in a statement.

Willie Gray Franklin Jr., Brad McGail Johnson, DeAndre Evans and Claude Morey III had already pleaded or been found guilty of aggravated assault and violating Georgia’s Gang Act. Each is on the hook for 2 percent of the $35 million awarded by the Cobb County jury. Six Flags has to pay the rest.

“The brain injury in this case was clearly severe,” said another Martin co-counsel, Susan Cremer. “His life care plan showed a need for at least $7 million to assist Josh to live in the structured environment he needs.”

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