Beating Linked to Property Owner’s Negligence

In late April of 2009 a young man and his friends were leaving a bar located near UCF (University of Central Florida) after a night out.  As they crossed the parking lot headed home, one of the young women in the party was set upon by a group of unknown men.  They tackled her and began their assault by pushing her face into the pavement.

While others fled for safety, the young man, our client, ran back in an attempt to defend his friend from harm. In the course of protecting her, he was severely beaten by the strangers.   The young lady ran back into the bar to call 911, the unknown attackers ran off after beating the young man severely.

Over the course of the beating his attackers delivered repeated blows to and about his head.  Upon admittance to the hospital, and after a series of tests, physicians found that the beating caused several teeth to become loose.  His nose was broken, and his jaw was broken in several places.  At some point his hand was also fractured.  His jaw was wired shut to facilitate healing, his hand was splinted, and he was placed on several pain medications.

Over time, our client had to return to the care of his physicians, for updates and to ensure his healing was on track.  Through the course of his treatment, he lost nearly thirty pounds, he lost some of his ability to smell and taste food, and he developed a severe and persistent cough.  He is in constant pain, and suffers from nightmares and bouts of depression that were brought on by the trauma of the attack.

Now immediately we know the group of strangers who beat up our client are at fault and all efforts should be made to identify them and bring them to justice.  However, who else has the blame?  There is another party who shares the responsibility for the young man’s injuries.  That additional party would be the owners of the property.

When a property owner invites the public on to their premises with the goal of making a profit, they are responsible for ensuring the public’s safety.  In Florida, a property owner or occupant may have a “non-delegable duty of case.”  This simply means that even if a property owner hires another person, company, or subcontractor for the task of monitoring safety, the responsibility for safety cannot be shifted away from that property owner.  There also could be negligence in the hiring or selection of the subcontractor, which would also be the responsibility of the property owner.

In this particular instance, the property owner’s should have been aware of an ongoing crime spree in the area.  There had been over 550 calls made regarding complaints about criminal activity on the premises, and over 100 of those calls was regarding a violent crime, including battery, sexual assault, and at least one murder.

In the four months leading up to this incident, sixteen violent crimes were reported, including:  Aggravated assault, battery, strong armed robbery, aggravated assault, and several other physically violent altercations.   Since this incident in April 2009, there was even a shooting in broad daylight in the same parking lot.

Yet, even with these signs and indications of danger, the property owner did nothing to ensure the safety of their patrons.  No cameras were installed, no security company was contacted, no additional lights were erected.  They failed to heed the many warnings they had and this young man’s traumatic beating was only one result.

Soon after the beating, the young man came to Wooten Kimbrough, P.A. with his case.  We were able to successfully follow the case to it’s conclusion, and we were able to get a just settlement for our client to cover for the medical expenses and the suffering he still lives with as a result of the beating.

Wooten Kimbrough, P.A.  Premises Negligence Attorneys



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