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ARTICLE ID 194008

$________ Legal Malpractice – Failure to adequately investigate underlying negligent security claim before entering pre-suit of underlying case - Plaintiff allegedly assaulted with baseball bat by unknown assailant who gained access through unlocked side entrance of apartment building

New York County, NY

This was a legal malpractice case involving a 47-year-old unemployed plaintiff who was allegedly attacked by two unknown assailants who gained access to his apartment building through an unlocked and unmonitored side door. The plaintiff contended in the legal malpractice action, that the defendant attorney negligently had him sign a release that settled the case for $________, and that the defendant attorney failed to adequately investigate the claim before resolving the claim with the landlord.The plaintiff supported that after he went to meet his children at the school bus stop, and learned that they went home with a neighbor, he went back to his apartment building after stopping at a bodega and liquor store, and was the victim of the assault.

The defendant attorney maintained that an adequate investigation was conducted, and that the proof strongly showed that the plaintiff was not the victim of an assault, but had fallen over a waist high railing, landing several stories below. The plaintiff was intoxicated and had a BAC of .25 at the time of the incident. The defendant also supported that among the reasons the case was unwinnable was evidence that the plaintiff had told many inconsistencies about how the incident happened. The defendant further maintained that the testimony of the plaintiff that only slightly more than 15 minutes elapsed between the time he left the school bus stop until he was assaulted was unbelievable, because he had stopped at a bodega and liquor store in the interim, and consumed a very significant amount of Southern Comfort. The defendant also pointed out that there were several references in the hospital chart that the plaintiff’s injuries were caused by a fall, and that,there were no witnesses to the alleged assault, which happened during the middle of the day during a high-traffic time. The defendant further contended there was no unlocked side entrance, and no proof that the alleged assailants entered through a side entrance, and that the had plaintiff admitted that the apartment building had working front door locks and a working intercom system.The plaintiff maintained that when he was found, his shirt was pulled up over his head, and that this evidence was more consistent with an assault. The plaintiff also contended that the arm fractures were defensive wounds that were sustained when he was attacked with a baseball bat. The plaintiff further maintained that the fact that nobody was willing to act as a witness to the attack was not surprising. The plaintiff also contended that his apparent inability to estimate times was far from dispositive. The plaintiff contended that he will suffer permanent pain because of the injuries sustained in the incident.The jury found that the defendant attorney was negligent. The jury also found that the plaintiff was the victim of an assault, and that the negligence of the landlord was a substantial factor in the assault. The jury then awarded $________.

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