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$________ GROSS ADVISORY Confidential - Negligent security - Plaintiff attacked during robbery in Bahamian hotel room - Rib fractures - Collapsed lung - Continued breathing problems - 30% comparative negligence found.

Palm Beach County, Florida

The plaintiff alleged that there was inadequate security at the defendant’s resort hotel in the Bahamas to prevent a robbery and assault upon the plaintiff. The defense argued that the plaintiff was comparatively negligent and also disputed the extent of the injuries which he sustained. The case was bifurcated and tried first on liability in August of ________ and then damages.

The plaintiff was a guest at the defendant’s hotel & casino in Freeport, Bahamas in ________ when he claimed that his hotel room was robbed by at least three Bahamian males. The plaintiff alleged that there had been prior crimes in and around the hotel. The plaintiff also contended that, although there were security cameras in the defendant’s casino, there were no operable cameras near the hotel hallways or rooms. In addition the plaintiff alleged that there were no security guards on the premises and that the ongoing construction at the hotel created a situation where the hallway doors did not automatically lock when they closed. The plaintiff contended that the assailants should not have been able to gain access to the guest room area of the hotel.

The plaintiff, age 61 at the time, contended that he was beaten during the robbery and sustained fractured ribs which pierced a lung. The plaintiff complained of continuing breathing difficulties as a result of the collapsed lung he sustained.

The defense argued that the plaintiff’s roommate opened the door when the robbers knocked. The roommate contended that he thought it was his brother who was staying in a nearby room. The plaintiff’s roommate was listed as a Fabre defendant on the verdict form. The defendant argued that, had the roommate used the "peep hole" and/or the safety latch, he would have seen the assailants before the door was opened. The defense stressed that the peep hole and safety latch were designed to prevent these types of occurrences.

The defense also argued that the plaintiff’s conduct, including wearing jewelry and displaying cash in the casino and hotel, attracted the attention of the assailants. The defendant claimed that the plaintiff negligently fought the assailants, whereas the roommate who did not fight them was not harmed.

On damages, the defendant stressed that the plaintiff had sustained a prior lung injury as a result of being exposed to hydrochloric acid. The defense contended that the plaintiff’s breathing difficulties were associated with his prior lung injury.

The jury found the defendant 20% negligent, the Fabre defendant (roommate) 50% negligent and the plaintiff 30% comparatively negligent. In the damages phase of the trial, the plaintiff was awarded $________ in gross damages. The case settled for a confidential sum minutes before the jury returned and the court allowed an advisory verdict.

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