Rafi Law Firm obtained a $1,700,000 jury verdict in Fulton County State Court for a Client who was shot at an Atlanta gas station. The case is what’s known as a “negligent security case” — here is the story:
On November 1, 2015, our Client was a passenger in a car driven by a friend of his when they made a stop at a gas station in southwest Atlanta. Video footage from the gas station showed a group of men had been loitering outside the gas station for at least twenty-five minutes before our client arrived. Our Client’s friend went into the gas station’s convenience store; our Client waited in the car with his seat reclined back and dozed off. When the friend returned to the car, he was confronted by an unknown man that had been loitering outside the gas station.
The friend and unknown man had a discussion for about 3 minutes, when all of a sudden, the friend and unknown man both pulled out guns and started shooting at each other. Our Client’s friend then drove out of the gas station as the unknown man continued to shoot at the car, with our Client inside of it. Our client was shot in the abdomen in the crossfire. The friend stopped the car down the road from the gas station and ran away, leaving our Client inside the car shot. Our Client called 911, paramedics responded to the scene, and he was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital.
Our Client was rushed into emergency surgery to remove the bullet, spent a week in the hospital, and amassed more than $105,000 in medical bills. He spent four months recovering, and by the time of trial, was back to work and, thankfully, almost completely healed.
We filed a personal injury lawsuit, in which we claimed the gas station and its landlord were negligent.
At trial, we the gas station operator tried to blame its landlord, claiming it was not responsible for crime that happened in areas where the gas pumps are. During cross examination, gas station employees testified the group of men who were hanging outside the gas station should not have been allowed to do so. A former employee testified he told his supervisor the guys that hung-out had guns and sold drugs, but management told him it would be “bad for business” to make the men leave. The gas station had been warned over and over by police, customers, and employees that the guys who hung-out at the gas station were dangerous, but they ignored the warnings. Other gas station employees testified they knew of two or three prior shootings at the gas station: one that was a mere three days before our client was shot, and another shooting just six months prior.We told the jury that had the gas station listened to the warnings and taken relatively simply safety measures, then people would not have loitered at the gas station and our Client would not have been shot.
We settled with the gas station’s landlord before trial for a confidential 6-figure amount. The gas station’s largest pre-trial offer was just $50,000.
On Thursday, October 5, 2017, the jury awarded $1,718,367.46 for our Client’s injury. With the help of family, friends, and doctors, we were able to show the jury the substantial changes the shooting had on our client’s life. Thankfully, our Client is now basically back to being himself, but the jury’s award shows they understood he had a long and tough recovery.
The jury found the gas station 66% responsible, and the two men who had the gunfight, at 17% fault each. The jury concluded our client and the landlord were not at-fault.
We handle negligent security cases because they truly can change the way businesses operate. We hope this verdict will tell business owners and operators that when there is danger on their property, they must do something – they cannot ignore repeated warnings and allow dangerous activity.