Apartment complexes provide homes to millions of people throughout the state of New York and many residents are very happy with their living situations. However, not all complexes are as well maintained or as safe as they should be and sadly, residents can become the victims of a crime.
Three Men Shoot Apartment Building Resident
It was January 24th, 2015 when 33-year-old Florencio Gomez-Mendez was walking through his apartment complex common area after going to the store when three unidentified men approached him and shot him. He sustained multiple gunshot wounds and the men left him there to die. He was able to crawl 50 yards for help but was unable to alert anyone and passed away from the gunshot wound to his chest.
He left behind a wife and children who were waiting for him to come home.
Family Files Lawsuit Against Apartment Complex
The victim’s surviving loved ones, including his wife and children, filed a lawsuit against the apartment complex, alleging that the complex had known about a long history of violent acts that occurred on their grounds and did nothing to improve security.
The case went to trial where the plaintiff’s legal team presented evidence that over 80 violent crimes had taken place either in the complex or near it in less than four years. Just one of those incidents included the death of a 13-year-old boy who was shot to death.
Despite this violent history, the complex didn’t install a gate, security guards, or inform residents of the risks of living in the area.
The jury sided with the plaintiffs and awarded them $20 million, however, they placed 50% of the blame with the perpetrators and 50% on the apartment complex for negligent security, which means that the total award ended up being $10 million.
What Does The $10 Million Compensate The Family For?
If the victim had survived the shooting, the monetary award would have covered his medical expenses, lost wages, physical pain and suffering, and emotional trauma. However, since he passed away, the lawsuit is technically a wrongful death lawsuit which, in addition to the above damages, provides the plaintiff with compensation for:
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of income
- Funeral and burial expenses
In most cases, only the parents, spouses, and children of the deceased are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit, however, if another relative is dependent upon the deceased, they may also be able to file.
How Do I Know If Negligent Security Contributed To My Accident?
Under the law, property owners are required to do everything within their power to keep those on the property safe. While not every apartment complex requires a security gate, if the complex is in a dangerous area, it would be wise for the property owner to install a security gate, security cameras, and potentially hire staff to monitor the area.
What is considered reasonable changes from location to location so the best way to determine if you have a negligent security case is to consult with an attorney who can review the case.
How Can Banville Law Help Me?
The legal team at Banville Law is dedicated to making sure that the victims of negligence get the compensation that they need to move forward with their lives.
Our attorneys work with our clients to review every single detail of the accident, collect evidence to support the case, file the necessary paperwork, negotiate settlements, and prepare the case for trial.
How Long Will The Legal Process Take?
Even lawsuits that have the quickest resolution take months to reach their end. This is because it takes time to collect evidence, interview witnesses, and schedule depositions. Then, if a settlement can’t be reached, a trial date must be set.
The time period shouldn’t deter anyone from taking legal action as a lawsuit may be the only way that they are able to obtain compensation for their losses.