The Rafi Law Firm recently obtained a confidential six-figure settlement for the loved ones of a man who was shot and killed in his College Park, Georgia, apartment. The apartment complex is located on Godby Road in Fulton County, and this is the second 6-figure settlement Rafi Law Firm has obtained from this complex in the last 6 months. We are extremely proud that the complex has now increased security measures, so hopefully tenants and guests will now be safe.
Our client, “HK,” had lived at the apartment complex for a few years. From everyone we spoke to, HK kept to himself and did not cause any trouble. In November 2014, we believe HK was shot and killed inside his apartment by intruders who may have robbed him. HK was found a week later when a friend came by to check on him. There were no witnesses and the shooters were never found. In fact, Crime Stoppers is still trying to solve this shooting.
At the time we began working on this case, our firm was already involved in another case where a man was shot and severely injured at this same College Park apartment complex. Our firm eventually settled the other case for a confidential six-figure amount as well. So, we were already well aware of crime and dangerous activity at this apartment complex, knew the witnesses, and had many of the documents we needed.
From information we obtained, we could prove that crime had been escalating before HK was killed. At that point, the complex had two options under Georgia law: 1) warn guests of the existing violent crime and dangerous activity, or 2) install security measures aimed at deterring crime and keeping its residents safe. The complex did neither. Instead, the complex picked a third, irresponsible and unsafe option—it did nothing.
In fact, as crime escalated, the complex actually did less than nothing—it reduced security measures. In October 2014, the complex fired its security officer and from then through when HK was shot, the complex did not have a security officer or any security personnel on property. Police reports and witness testimony showed the amount and severity of crime increased at the complex after it fired its security officer.
The complex’s owner knew of the dangers but affirmatively chose not to fix the problem. We learned from former employees that the managing owner refused to address security concerns. According to two former employees, when employees asked the owner to increase security, the owner laughed, brushed the questions off, and repeatedly said, “As long as Section 8 keeps paying, it [security] doesn’t matter.” The owner meant as long as he continued to receive automatic rent payments from the government on behalf of residents he was supposed to be safely housing, he did not care about the safety of residents or guests.
Another former employee testified before HK was killed, an employee was held up at gun-point, and the owner knew about it. Crime was so prevalent that employees took it upon themselves to contact an outside crime prevention company in hopes of convincing the owner to hire security. But, the owner refused to hire the security company, because he did not want to spend money on security and reduce profits.
Overall, the crime and incredibly dangerous decisions by the owner made this complex the worst our firm has ever seen. And unfortunately, good people, like HK, had no idea about the dangers and became victims.
The 6-Figure Settlement
The complex’s lawyers knew we had all of the information we needed and would successfully prove our case. We presented them with a “demand letter” where we demanded that the complex and its insurance company pay a certain amount to settle the case. In the demand letter we explained the facts and why we would win at trial. The complex and its lawyers knew we would succeed, especially since we had already won another case against them.
So, the apartment complex agreed to settle the case for a confidential 6-figure amount without us even filing a lawsuit. Obviously, no amount of money will bring HK back, but his loved ones were pleased with the amount of the recovery and how quickly we obtained it.
Every single day our firm helps people who are shooting victims—people shot at apartment complexes, hotels, gas stations, and other businesses. Our firm also helps victims of rape and sexual assault at these same kinds of businesses. We recover when other firms cannot because we conduct extensive investigations and learn everything we possibly can about the complex.
If you or someone you care about needs help, please contact our Atlanta or College Park offices.