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ARTICLE ID 1457

Alleged negligent security in Miami office building - Sexual assault - Post-traumatic stress disorder - Depression.

Miami-Dade County

The plaintiff was a female in her 30s who worked in a Miami office building owned by the defendant. The plaintiff claimed the defendant failed to provide adequate security at the building to prevent her from being sexually assaulted in the ladies restroom.

The defendant maintained that security was adequate and the crime was not foreseeable nor preventable.

The plaintiff testified that she obtained a key to the ladies room from her office and proceeded to the restroom during regular business hours. As the plaintiff unlocked the door, she testified a man pushed into the bathroom behind her. The assailant attacked and digitally penetrated the plaintiff prior to fleeing the scene, according to the plaintiff’s testimony.

The plaintiff’s security expert testified that the defendant’s office building was located in a high crime area and the crime was foreseeable. The defendant’s provision of security guards only at night was inadequate, according to the opinion of the plaintiff’s expert.

The plaintiff’s treating psychologist testified the plaintiff suffered continuing psychological injuries stemming from the incident, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety.

The defendant’s security expert testified that the attack upon the plaintiff was not foreseeable nor preventable. The defendant’s expert opined the security in place at the time of the attack was appropriate for the building.

The defendant’s psychiatrist testified the plaintiff did not sustain post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the accident and that her current psychological diagnosis was related to other stress factors in her life.

The jury found no negligence on the part of the defendant which was a legal cause of injury to the plaintiff. The case settled after the verdict for $________ in exchange for the plaintiff’s waiver of post-trial motions or an appeal.

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