The Rafi Law Firm secured a $300,000 settlement for a client who was shot at an apartment complex in College Park, Georgia. In the past 3 years, our Firm has collected more than $7,750,000 for clients injured in negligent security cases like this one.
On March 13, 2016, our client “JM” was visiting friends who lived at an apartment complex located on Godby Road, in College Park, Georgia. JM and his friend were sitting on the back patio of the friend’s apartment, when two men approached them. One of the approaching men pulled out a gun. JM’s friend ran to the backdoor of the apartment and tried to get inside, and JM tried to run away. The man with the gun fired multiple shots at JM and his friend, and one of the bullets hit JM. The man who shot JM and his accomplice fled.
JM was taken via ambulance to Grady Memorial Hospital. JM was having trouble breathing, and after testing, doctors determined JM had a collapsed right lung. JM was immediately taken to trauma surgery where doctors surgically placed a chest tube to help him breathe and drain blood from his chest cavity. JM remained in the hospital for a few days until doctors were confident he would not have any more trouble breathing. In total JM had about $75,000 in medical bills from his treatment. Thankfully, since being released from the hospital, JM has made a full recovery.
Once JM hired us, we immediately began investigating the apartment complex—what we learned was shocking. Here are some of the crimes we learned happened before JM was shot:
- July 7, 2012: complex’s security guard, who lived at the complex, was assaulted
- July 10, 2012: complex’s security guard reported a person fired a gun
- September 21, 2012: armed robbery with a gun
- November 21, 2012: aggravated assault where assailant used a sawed-off shotgun
- January 16, 2013: assailant pulled a gun and threatened to shoot the victim—police notified management
- August 25, 2013: complex’s security guard saw a man point a gun at another person
- December 11, 2013: armed robbery in front of complex
- March 18, 2014: complex’s security guard, who police noted “often calls to report criminal activity,” reported an armed person at the complex
- June 11, 2014: armed robbery with a gun—victims were sitting on the outside patio of an apartment
- March 22, 2015: aggravated assault where two males armed with guns kicked in an apartment door and assaulted the tenant in an apparent robbery
- May 26, 2015: aggravated assault where assailants shot the victim
- August 23, 2015: aggravated assault where assailant shot the victim and a stray bullet went through a tenant’s patio door and into the apartment
- October 18, 2015: two tenants threatened and pointed gun at another tenant because she gave information to police about a burglary
- December 13, 2015: aggravated assault with a gun
- December 6, 2015: police checked and found drugs at a “known hot spot” at the complex
- December 20, 2015: robbery
- January 27, 2016: armed robbery with a gun
There were also 5 people who were shot, 3 people who were stabbed, 35 reports of armed people at the complex, 53 burglaries, and 105 reports of gunfire since 2012. We have handled many negligent security cases, and the amount and severity of crime at this complex was among the worst we have ever seen.
Because the apartment complex’s security guard clearly knew about prior crimes, including another shooting and many others, the complex should have done more to keep residents safe. But, the complex did the opposite—it stopped having a security guard before JM was shot. That means the complex actually reduced its security measures even though it knew about all of this crime.
Because our investigation was so thorough and revealed so much information that helped our case, we were able to settle this case rather quickly after we filed the lawsuit. By doing so, we were able to reduce the litigation costs that our client would incur after the case was over. JM was able to buy a house and car with his settlement, and still has the majority of the money left. JM hopes to start a cleaning business in the future. We are proud of our work on JM’s case and grateful he allowed us to work for him.