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ARTICLE ID 47482

$________ Apartment negligence - Failure to control dangerous resident of Philadelphia apartment complex - Resident shoots plaintiff in the back - Arbitration under high/low agreement.

Philadelphia County

The plaintiff alleged that the defendant owner of a Philadelphia apartment complex negligently allowed a dangerous resident to remain living on the premises, despite notice of prior dangerous behavior. The plaintiff contended that the apartment resident in question, Theodore Sampson, randomly shot the plaintiff in the back several times with a semi-automatic military assault rifle. The defendant apartment owner denied responsibility for Sampson’s actions. Sampson, as well as his live-in girlfriend, were also named as defendants in the case, but were placed in default. The case went to binding arbitration under a high/low agreement.

The evidence revealed that on April 3, ________, the plaintiff was shot several times in the back by Sampson, who was a resident of the defendant’s Laurens Court Apartments in Germantown. Apparently shortly before the shooting, Sampson and his son were assaulted by unidentified persons. Sampson asked his girlfriend to go "get his gun." Another resident of the apartment complex testified that the codefendant went to her apartment and retrieved a UZI semi-automatic rifle which she gave to Sampson exclaiming "The shit is on, now!" Testimony indicated that Sampson wielded the weapon in the general direction of his original assault location, firing at random. At that time, the plaintiff was struck while he was walking on the sidewalk in the course and scope of his employment as a maintenance man at an apartment complex located across the street.

The plaintiff claimed that eight months before the shooting, the defendant Sampson had fired a weapon from the fire escape of the defendant’s apartments at another resident of the complex. The evidence showed that one of the tenants reported to police that a bullet had entered his apartment. Another tenant of the building testified that she had called the defendant apartment owner and complained about Sampson being a danger to people who lived at the property.

The plaintiff testified that he also had complained to the defendant that Sampson wrote graffiti at the nearby apartment complex where the plaintiff worked. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant failed to take appropriate action.

The plaintiff was treated and released the same day from the hospital. The bullets wounds left permanent scarring on his back and two bullet fragments remained lodged there. The plaintiff returned to work as a maintenance man at an apartment complex two days after the shooting. He claimed medical expenses of $________.

The defendant denied receiving complaints regarding the defendant Sampson. The defendant also argued that the plaintiff received only sporadic treatment and had made a good recovery from his wounds.

The arbitrators found for the plaintiff in the amount of $________. The recovery was not affected by the confidential high/low agreement entered into by the parties.

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