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SUMMARY JUDGMENT FOR DEFENDANT Alleged negligent security at Destin townhome community – Shotgun fired into home – Two deaths – Three serious injuries.

Walton County, FL

This action involved claims of two wrongful deaths and three serious injuries, which were consolidated into a single case. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants – the homeowners association and a community association management company – negligently failed to provide adequate security for the premises. The defendants maintained that the shooting was not foreseeable, and that they breached no duty owed to the plaintiffs.

The case arose from a brutal attack by a resident of the defendant’s townhome community in Destin, Florida on February 26, ________. A shotgun was fired several times into the downstairs window of a townhome filled with foreign exchange students.

Two students died, and three others were seriously wounded as a result of the incident.

The defense argued that, prior to the date of the shooting; the defendants had not received any reports of violent criminal activity taking place at or in the vicinity of the community, and had received no complaints regarding violent acts being committed by the shooter, Dannie Roy Baker. Baker, who had a long history of mental illness, was sentenced to five concurrent life terms in prison with no possibility of parole in connection with the shooting. There was no known motive for the killings, but neighbors speculated that Baker had a dislike for immigrants, and was not happy with the activity at the townhouse.The court accepted the defendants’ argument that there was no evidence to show that the shooting was foreseeable, or that the defendants breached any duty owed to the students. Accordingly, the defendants’ motion for summary judgment was granted.

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