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ARTICLE ID 3255

$________ Negligent security - Plaintiff mugged in restaurant parking lot - Soft tissue back injury - Frontal lobe brain damage - Short term memory loss - Emotional injuries.

Broward County

This action was brought by the female plaintiff, in her 50’s at the time of injury, against the defendant restaurant. The p 7 3 plaintiff claimed that she was mugged in the defendant’s parking lot as a result of negligent security at the premises. The plaintiff claimed to have sustained a soft tissue back injury, frontal lobe brain damage, and emotional injuries as a result of the incident. The defendant maintained that all reasonable measures for the safety of patrons had been taken and disputed the extent and nature of the injuries sustained by the plaintiff in the incident.

Evidence showed that on February 10, ________, at approximately 9:30 p.m., the plaintiff and her husband exited the defendant’s restaurant into the parking lot. The plaintiff testified that an unknown assailant approached her from behind, grabbed her purse and pushed her to the ground where she struck her head. The plaintiff’s security expert opined that security at the premises was negligent in light of 39 reported major crimes at the location within the three years prior to the attack.

The plaintiff’s orthopedic surgeon testified that the sustained a soft tissue back injury in the incident. The plaintiff introduced testimony of a neurologist and orthopedic surgeon retained by the defense. These experts agreed that the plaintiff sustained a permanent soft tissue back injury and continuing headaches as a result of the incident. The plaintiff’s neuropsychologist testified that the plaintiff also sustained frontal lobe brain damage as a result of the closed head injury and that she suffered a cognitive deficit with short term memory loss.

The plaintiff testified that she returned to her position as the manager of her own cleaning business, but that she had difficulty remembering dates and other important information resulting in a loss of business and clients. The plaintiff also contended that she now required the assistant of her daughter with bookkeeping for the business.

The defendant’s security expert testified that the parking lot was open and clear, allowing visibility of anyone passing through. This expert opined that the defendant had taken all reasonable measures to make the parking lot safe. The defendant’s neuropsychologist opined that the plaintiff suffered from pre- existing emotional problems which were not aggravated, or were aggravated only on a transient basis, as a result of the mugging.

The jury found for the plaintiff in the amount of $________.

The trial judge ruled that the mugger not be listed on the verdict form and that the Fabre Doctrine was not applicable to intentional torts. The case is currently on appeal.

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