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ARTICLE ID 162064

$________ Landlord's liability - Negligent security - Assailant shoots tenant in the head after gaining access through faulty security gate - Gunshot wound - Depressed fracture of right occipitoparietal skull - Hematoma - Right temporofrontal and parietal lobe subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Los Angeles County, California

In this matter, the plaintiff tenant alleged that the defendant landlord was negligent in failing to properly repair and maintain a security gate in the plaintiff’s apartment complex which was known to have gang problems in the neighborhood. The plaintiff sustained a gunshot wound to the head when the assailant got past the faulty gate. The defendant denied liability.

On February 10, ________ at approximately 5:30 a.m., the assailant gained entry to the defendant’s apartment building through a faulty security gate. The plaintiff alleged that the gate had not been locking properly and the assailant was able to gain entry. The plaintiff was shot in the head by the assailant. The plaintiff survived, but sustained a depressed fracture of the right occipitoparietal skull bone with hematoma and right temporofrontal and parietal lobe subarachnoid hemorrhage.

There were bullet fragments present in the occipital regions and in the posterior skull. The plaintiff was unable to move his upper left and lower left extremities and was suffering from a neurogenic bowel and bladder. He underwent a craniotomy with debridement. He was hospitalized for approximately five weeks. He now suffers from residual minor left-sided hemiparesis and visual field damage. He had to undergo a second surgery to remove the missile fragment from his head. The plaintiff incurred approximately $________ in medical bills. He has been unable to return to full time gainful employment, and alleged past wage losses of $________.

The plaintiff brought suit against the defendant property management company and the defendant property repair and maintenance company, alleging that the defendant was negligent in failing to properly secure the premises and in failing to properly maintain the security gate. The plaintiff alleged that the security gate was the only point of entry to the apartment building, which is located in a known gang territory. The plaintiff alleged that the gate had a history of repairs and a history of problems with the self-locking mechanism not working properly. The plaintiff alleged that on the date of the incident, the security gate could be opened without a key. The gate had not been locking properly, according to the plaintiff, from November ________ through the date of the incident.

The defendant property management company tendered its policy limits of $________ to the plaintiff. The defendant property repair and maintenance company denied the allegations and sought declaratory relief and rescission.

The matter was eventually settled for the total sum of $________, consisting of the $________ policy limits from the property management defendant and $________ from the repair and maintenance company, as well as an additional $________ from the property owner.

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