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Personal Injury Results

* $13 MILLION VERDICT IN WRONGFUL DEATH CASE involving 20-year-old single mother strangled to death in her apartment by an apartment complex maintenance worker. The apartment complex maintenance worker had an extensive criminal background, but the management company did not perform a criminal background check on him as required by its own policy. The complex owner and manager contended that it was not legally required to perform background checks. Interestingly, prospective residents of the complex had to submit to criminal background checks in order to lease an apartment. Had the background check been performed, the maintenance worker's criminal history, including the fact that he was currently a fugitive (arising from a burglary charge), would have been discovered and he would not have been hired.

We also contended that the complex owner and manager had notice of criminal activity on the premises, including the likelihood that an employee was involved because complex residents had reported numerous "no forced entry" thefts after the maintenance worker started working in the complex. Additionally, on one occasion, a resident returned home early and discovered the maintenance man in her apartment. The worker stated that he was responding to a maintenance requests, but the resident said that there had been no request.

Finally, we contended that the complex failed to maintain control and limit access to apartment keys, which allowed the maintenance worker uncontrolled access to apartment keys.

The victim, who was engaged and working as a secretary, was survived by her minor son and parents, who filed suit against the complex owner and manager. A Gwinnett County, Georgia, jury returned a verdict for $10,625,000 in wrongful death damages and $2,500,000 for the victim's pain and suffering before death.