$20,000,000 Jury Verdict – Wrongful Death
Our client left his wife and three children in Mexico to come to Atlanta in search of economic opportunity and a better life for them all. He found work and lived in a Clayton County, Georgia apartment complex. The apartment complex where he lived was in an immigrant community, and residents would often walk to nearby grocery or convenience stores to get food and the other items since most did not own a vehicle.
While walking home from the store one evening, our client was approached by three men who were intent on robbing him. He was shot during the robbery and left to die. Our client was able to crawl about 50 yards in search of help before he succumbed to his injuries.
The Atlanta wrongful death attorneys at Shiver Hamilton Campbell have a proven track record of winning judgments for their clients who were injured or lost their life due to insufficient security measures. When apartment property owners in Atlanta do not take the minimum steps to ensure their customers and tenants are safe, the injured or victimized party may be entitled to compensation.
Inadequate Security in Wrongful Death Cases
Shiver Hamilton Campbell’s mission is to seek justice for people like our client who have suffered a wrongful death due to the negligence of others, including inadequate security cases such as this one. To prove that the property owner allowed a negligent security situation to exist, it is necessary to prove that he or she had prior knowledge of the hazardous conditions and did not take reasonable steps to protect customers and tenants from danger.
The proprietors of this apartment complex had a history of carelessness. Shiver Hamilton Campbell previously represented the family of a 13-year-old boy who was shot and killed 18 months prior in the same apartment complex. Shiver Hamilton Campbell’s wrongful death attorneys in Atlanta had obtained a favorable settlement for his family in that case. They were familiar with the ownership and management of the complex. They knew that numerous crimes had been committed at the apartment complex.
Most importantly, the firm’s investigation revealed that the apartment complex implemented no meaningful security measures to protect residents from predators during the period between the murders, such as installing surveillance cameras or hiring off-duty police officers to ensure a safe environment for residents. Shiver Hamilton Campbell filed a civil wrongful death lawsuit alleging unsafe premises and asked the jury for $18 million to compensate their client’s family for the loss of his life and $2 million for his pain and suffering.
Holding Negligent Property Owners Accountable for Unsafe Premises
The men who killed our client were never apprehended by the police and the apartment complex and its insurers denied any responsibility for our client’s death. They offered our client’s family $1 million to settle the case prior to trial.
Shiver Hamilton Campbell has extensive experience in wrongful death cases resulting from negligent security and a solid record of achieving fair settlements for their clients. They were confident they could demonstrate to a jury that their client’s murder could have been prevented if adequate security measures had been in place at the complex, and that such a low offer was not acceptable. Shiver Hamilton Campbell was joined at trial by Darren Summerville and Mecca Anderson of The Summerville Firm.
The trial required a great deal of investigative work by Shiver Hamilton Campbell. Witnesses, fearing retribution, are often reluctant to testify in wrongful death cases against negligent property owners. Shiver Hamilton Campbell hired private investigators and convinced witnesses to come forward for the good of the community and the victim’s family.
The client’s widow spoke no English and had never traveled outside of the remote region of Mexico where she resided. She was brought to Atlanta to testify at trial against the negligent property owners, and she did so courageously, even under fierce cross-examination by skilled defense attorneys.
Atlanta Negligent Security Attorneys Achieve Results for Families of Victims
The trial lasted two weeks and the jury returned a $20 million verdict for the widow and children of our client. The jury apportioned 50 percent of the fault to the defendants and 50 percent to the criminals for a total verdict of $10 million against the defendants. Because the insurance company had denied a prior settlement offer and the verdict was greater than 125 percent of the plaintiffs’ prior offer, the defendants were also ordered to pay plaintiffs’ attorneys fees.
With the help of witnesses and private investigators, Shiver Hamilton Campbell successfully demonstrated to the jury that the hard-working people of the apartment complex, and other Atlanta communities, have a right to expect better treatment. People should feel safe in their homes and in their communities. Property owners have responsibilities to the residents they are contractually obligated to serve, including maintaining safe premises. When they are negligent and fail in these responsibilities, and their premises are unsafe, they may be held liable for any resulting damages.
Many witnesses testified to the dangerous environment and the harassment they experienced by the criminal element on the property. There was a clear record of criminality on the premises with no meaningful attempts by management to make the premises safe for residents. There was even a concerted effort by the property owners to avoid financial responsibility.
The jury verdict returned was the full amount that Shiver Hamilton Campbell had requested.
Shiver Hamilton Campbell dedicates any necessary resources such as engaging private investigators and experts to make sure their clients receive the justice they deserve. They know their clients are worried about far more than the legal outcome. They stand by their clients through their grief and guide them through the complex legal process.
The Atlanta wrongful death lawyers of Shiver Hamilton Campbell are always ready to go to trial if necessary to receive full justice and compensation for the families of wrongful death victims. Preparing the case for trial is necessary to help families receive the full amount of compensation they are entitled to. Defendants know that Shiver Hamilton Campbell’s clients have adept trial lawyers by their side who will dedicate whatever resources are necessary to help their clients receive the settlement they need and deserve.