The Rafi Law Firm recently secured $575,000 for a client who was shot at an apartment complex in Decatur, Georgia. Above is a picture of our client at his cousin’s graduation.
Our client (“PM”) was a 29 year old aspiring music artist who lived in Duluth, Georgia. While promoting his music online, he met a woman who said she was a choreographer and her boyfriend was a producer. PM and the woman talked online, then via text, and later on the phone, and they eventually decided to meet.
On October 15, 2014, PM and his friend went to a small apartment complex in Decatur to meet the woman and her boyfriend. When PM and his friend arrived, the woman was not at her apartment. They called her and she said to wait a few minutes, that she was almost home from the dance studio where she had been practicing.
A few minutes later, the woman was dropped off by an SUV outside of the apartment building. The woman and PM talked outside the main entrance to the apartment building for a few minutes, and then she invited them inside. PM and his friend asked if the woman’s boyfriend was at the apartment, and she said no. So, PM said they could just talk outside and wait for the boyfriend to get home.
The woman then got a phone call, and as she listened, she suddenly became nervous. All of a sudden the SUV that had dropped off the woman came back to the parking lot, a few men jumped out, and ran towards PM and his friends. The men were armed with guns and began firing. Then men shot PM; luckily, his friend was not struck by any bullets. PM and his friend went inside the apartment building and hid, looking for a way to get away. They then made a break to their car, got inside, and started driving away. The men kept shooting at them as they drove away.
The friend drove PM to Grady Hospital, where he received emergency treatment. PM had a tough road to recovery, including a number of surgeries and intensive physical therapy.
Once PM hired us, we immediately began investigating the apartment complex. We made multiple trips to the apartment complex, go to know people who lived there, earned their trust, and listened to what they had to say.
We learned that there had been another shooting at this very same complex just weeks earlier. We learned the victim of the prior shooting had filed a negligent security case. We tracked down the person who had been shot before PM was and we talked to his lawyer and learned all about his shooting. We learned that the complex had hired security after the earlier shooting, but that only lasted a few days.
We also located a former property manager who worked at the complex. She met with us and told us about violent crime at the complex and how she asked the owners to hire full-time security. The owners though, according to the property manager, would not pay for security, so she quit.
We spoke with our client’s doctors and obtained his medical records to learn about his injuries and understand his treatment. We worked with a physical therapist to make sure our client could receive the physical therapy he needed to get better. PC used crime victims resources to help pay his medical bills before his case resolved.
We filed a lawsuit against the apartment complex because it failed to keep PM and others safe. Not too long after the lawsuit began, the lawyers for the apartment complex asked us to go to mediation, where a neutral lawyer would attempt to help the sides settle the case.
We generally believe that trying to verdict in front of juries will get our clients the best results, but a mediation allows our client to hear how much the other side is willing to pay to settle the case, and in most circumstances, that is not a bad thing. We want our clients to have all the information possible to make a smart decision—and how much the other side will pay to settle the case is information that will help our clients.
At mediation, the apartment complex’s initial offer was $100,000. We explained to the apartment complex why we would win and and convinced the complex and its lawyers to increase their initial offer of $100,000 to $575,000, which was a life-changing amount of money for PM, and he accepted the offer and settled his case.
After the Lawsuit
When the case ended, PM used his recovery to pay off an outstanding bill and invest in his music. PM is now literally back on his feet and performing music all around the country.