Articles Posted in Negligent Security

According to Atlanta Journal Constitution, a robbery occurred recently and a Georgia lawmaker was caught up in the violent theft which the robber was committed. The state representative was traveling home to South Georgia after leaving the capital where he attended a session of the General Assembly. He stopped to get gas when the robbery happened, and he was shot by the robber.  The circumstances surrounding the shooting and robbery incident are not yet clear, and the incident is under investigation. atlanta negligent security

This robbery was more newsworthy than many because it involved a lawmaker getting shot. Unfortunately, however, this is not an isolated incident or an out-of-the-ordinary situation. Robberies happen, just as other violent crimes do. When a robbery happens, if you get hurt during it, you need to understand what your rights are for recovering compensation for injuries.  An Atlanta premises liability lawyer can provide assistance in understanding what your rights are after a robbery happens.  Continue Reading

Our Atlanta premises liability lawyers read a story about a case that arose out of a shooting incident involving an Atlanta police officer in May 2009.

Handgun.jpg

The incident started when the victim, Tramaine Miller, then 27 years old, parked in a handicapped parking spot at the City View apartment complex. Mr. Miller said he was coming from his aunt’s apartment, where he was helping with her medication. Reginald Fisher, a 42-year-old off-duty police officer who had worked for the Atlanta Police Department for two years, was working a second job as a security guard at the apartment complex. Fisher went over to the car and ordered Mr. Miller to unlock the car door, which Mr. Miller refused. Fisher then smashed in the car window with a baton and shot Mr. Miller in the face. Witnesses said that Mr. Miller had his hands raised when he was shot, but Fisher claims Mr. Miller was reaching under the seat to grab for something he mistook as a gun, and that he feared for his life, especially as this was a high crime area known for drug dealing. It turned out Mr. Miller was just reaching for a cell phone. Mr. Miller survived the incident but still has the bullet in his neck. Fisher was charged in the shooting, but was acquitted by a jury in Fulton County in 2011. He was suspended without pay from the police force, and has been working as a truck driver.

Mr. Miller filed a civil lawsuit against the owner of City View apartments and the managing company, which has also been making its way through the court system. The Court of Appeals decided 5-2 that the owner of City View and the managing company can be held vicariously liable for the actions of Reginald Fisher. The judgment said that Fisher approached cars to verify their access to the apartment complex, which was not a police function. Due to this, summary judgment was not appropriate. A dissenting opinion stated that Fisher was actually trying to arrest Mr. Miller because of his belief that Mr. Miller possessed illegal drugs and the apartment manager had not given Fisher instructions on dealing with the drug problem. The dissent thus found that Fisher was acting as an Atlanta police officer during the incident with Mr. Miller, and City View and the company should not be liable. The Georgia Supreme Court has agreed to take this case, so it will be interesting to see the outcome and its impact on personal injury law in Georgia.

Our Atlanta negligent security lawyers read about a tragic incident that happened at Paine College and is now the subject of a negligent security lawsuit by the victim.

Four months ago, a 22 year old student of the private college was attacked and raped. She was living at Graham Hall, an all female building, when she was attacked in the bathroom on March 7. Police arrested 19 year old Jarius Dantzler and charged him with rape, and also attempted rape, armed robbery, and burglary. Apparently Dantzler is the same man who attempted to rape another female student in the same building in November 2012. During the November incident, Dantzler crawled into the student’s bed with his pants down, but fled when she fought back. Dantzler is also accused of an incident in February unrelated to Paine College where he broke into a home and got into bed with a woman and her child, beating the woman in front of the child and stealing her purse as he left. Dantzler has pled not guilty in his criminal trial.

Fellow student James Powell told reporters that students were outraged over the rape and attempted rape, and can’t believe that it happened. Students talked to by reporters say that they don’t believe much has changed on campus in the last four months and that many are still worried that a non-student can get into dorms and commit a crime like this again. The college has tried to beef up security recently, though, although much too late for the two victims of these crimes. They have added security cameras and more patrols and have tried to stop males from going into female dorms and vice versa.

Our Atlanta negligent security lawyers were disappointed to see earlier this month that Georgia’s Supreme Court upheld a provision of the new tort reform law dealing with premises liability.

The case at hand was about a Georgia man, Nairobi Couch, who was attacked, abducted, and robbed by unknown assailants at a Red Roofs Inn at North Druid Hills Road and Buford Highway in Atlanta in August 2009. None of Mr. Couch’s attackers have ever been identified. He sued Red Roof claiming they failed to keep their premises safe and provide adequate security, according to news sources. Red Roof filed an intention to argue “fault of non-party” under a recently amended Georgia law and stating that the damages should be decreased in whole or in part due to the fault of the criminals who attacked Mr. Couch. Mr. Couch opposed the move, and challenged the amended statute as unconstitutional. Mr. Couch’s lawsuit is still pending before a federal court in Atlanta, but US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia Judge Steve Jones asked the state Supreme Court for an interpretation of the 2005 tort reform law.

dark alley.JPGThe Supreme Court decided, in a five to two vote, that when deciding on an award a jury can consider the fault of the assailants and apportion the amount of damages to Red Roof based on the percentage of responsibility for the attack. The Court also stated that a jury can receive a special verdict form requiring it to apportion the damages between the hotel and the assailants, if the jury finds liability. Writing for the majority, Justice Harold Melton said the law “makes all persons responsible according to their respective percentages of responsibility.” Justice Melton went on to say in the ruling, “The rules of statutory construction, including reliance on ordinary word meanings, dictate that an assailant who evades hotel security to intentionally abduct, rob and assault a hotel guest is, at the very least, partially at ‘fault’ for the brutal injuries inflicted by the assailant on that guest.” He also wrote, “As a party at fault, such an assailant must be included with others who may be at fault, e.g., the property owner in a premises liability action, for purposes of apportioning damages among all wrongdoing parties.”