Premises Liability Lawsuits:
Landlord vs. Tenant
(The following is for educational purposes only)
1. 69:56 $500,000 settlement to
19-year-old female raped by intruder at YMCA. Cole v. YMCA, No. 6626-84,
Sup. Ct. Kings County, N.Y., reported in Personal Injury Verdict Reviews,
No. 26, p. 4, February 19, 1990.
2. 70:71 Twelve-year-old girl
raped by intruder with AIDS receives $1.4 million settlement on inadequate
security claim. Alexander v. Preferred Fin. Co. of Cal., Tex., Harris
County 113th Judicial District Court, No. 89-01136, Oct. 12, 1989,
reported in 33 ATLA L. Rep. 115 (April 1990).
3. 70:71 Woman tenant raped at
knifepoint received $500,000 settlement from building owner on inadequate
security claim; 105 other crimes on premises in prior two years. York v.
Preferred Fin. Co. of Cal., Tex., Harris County 165th Judicial District
Court, No. 88-50767, Oct. 9, 1989, reported in 33 ATLA L. Rep. 114 (April
4. 71:86 Jury awards $395,000
to woman tenant raped by intruder who entered through a window with broken
latch which tenant had repeatedly asked landlord to fix. Clavel v. E.G.
Goldsmith, Fla., Hillsborough County Circuit Court, No. 88-22407, Aug. 31,
1989, reported in 33 ATLA L. Rep. 26 (Feb. 1990).
5. 71:87 Estates of two tenants
killed in fire receive $1.25 million settlement from building owners,
managers and Security Company for alleged failure to prevent arson.
Nithitan v. Campus Green, No. 85 L-2060, Circuit Court of Cook County,
Ill., reported in Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, p. 3, March 27, 1990.
6. 72:102 Gun battle between
drug dealers and tenant results in death of another tenant; building
owners and manager settle inadequate security claim for $1.5 million.
Sekmien v. Haverstock Hill Apartment, Tex., Harris County 234th Judicial
District Court, No. 87-40476, Nov. 1, 1989, reported in 33 ATLA L. Rep.
167 (May 1990).
7. 79:25 Landlord
could not avoid suit for inadequate security measures by tenant raped
and sodomized on premises; evidence of extensive criminal activity in
building called into question adequacy of security precautions. Carroll
v. Ar De Realty Corp. N.V., 561 N.Y.S.2d 721 (A.D. 1990). EDITOR'S NOTE:
A similar decision was recently rendered in Gilmartin v. Helmsley-Spear,
Inc., 556 N.Y.S.2d 632 (A.D. 1990). In that case, a female tenant filed
a negligence suit against a landlord and a security service after she
was injured during a forcible robbery in the lobby of the building.
Recent changes in shift procedures by the security staff, which allowed
the lobby to be unguarded for 15 minutes precluded summary judgment for
the defendants, as the robbery took place in this period.
8. 80:39 Two female
tenants sexually assaulted by an intruder to receive $550,000 each from
apartment building owner in settlement of inadequate security and
misrepresentation claims. Conway v. H.R. Management Co., Tex., Harris
County 125th Judicial District Court, No. 89-01137, Sept. 14, 1990,
reported in 34 ATLA L. Rep. 68 (March 1991).
9. 86:136 Female
tenant raped in her apartment by intruder who selected her based on
files in building management office awarded $17.1 million against
property management company. Bliske v. Berry Property Management Inc.,
District Court, Corpus Christi, Tex., reported in The Wall Street
Journal, p. B4 (Aug. 22, 1991).
10. 102:6 Landlord
could be found liable for rape of secretary by intruder on vacant floor
in commercial office building even absent proof of prior similar
assaults; unsecured condition of vacant portion of premises and prior
property crimes in building could be used to show foreseeability of
rape. Doe v. Dominion Bank of Washington, N.A., 963 F.2d 1552 (D.C. Cir.
11. 102:7 Building
owners and building manager could be liable for abduction, rape and
murder of tenant's minor female child by intruder; evidence was
sufficient to create a factual issue as to whether they knew of
defective door/lock, failed to repair, and refused to allow tenants to
themselves fix or install deadbolt or chain locks. Stubbs v. Panek, 829
S.W.2d 544 (Mo. App. 1992).
12. 102:7 Tenant shot
and rendered paraplegic by gunman in building entrance receives $500,000
settlement from building owner on claim that it failed to make the
premises safe by refusing to hire a desk clerk or install better
entrance lighting. Arias v. Fernwood Corp., Washington, D.C., District
of Columbia Super. Ct., No. 90-8856, Oct. 15, 1991, reported in 35 ATLA
L. Rep. 302 (Oct. 1992).
13. 105:58 Jury awards
$2.46 million against apartment managing agent for inadequate security
resulting in murder and sexual assault on female tenant; apartment
building owner settles claim for undisclosed sum; defendants allegedly
failed to take action after tenant complained about an improper front
door lock and misrepresented to tenant that security guard was present
patrolling on the premises. White v. H.C. Bailey Management Co., Hinds
County Cir. Ct., No. 91-67-203, May 27, 1992, 36 ATLA L. Rep. 18 (Feb.
14. 107:86 Landlord
liable for $150,000 in inadequate security suit for kidnapping and rape
of a female tenant from building parking ramp. Holland v. Liedel, 494
N.W.2d 772 (Mich. App. 1992).
15. 108:106 Louisiana
landlord had no duty to protect female tenant from being robbed and
raped by intruder in building parking lot, absent explicit contract with
tenant to supply security. Potter v. First Federal Savings & Loan
Assoc., of Scotlandville, 602 So. 2d 1070 (La. App. 1992).
16. 109:118 Building
owner and management company liable for $2 million to female tenant
raped in apartment after two prior similar incidents in the apartment
complex; husband of raped tenant also awarded $500,000 for loss of
consortium. Doe v. First Gibraltar Bank, Ga., Fulton County Super. Ct.,
No. D-90785, Feb. 8, 1993, reported in 36 ATLA L. Rep. 173 (June 1992).
17. 109:119 Family of
woman raped and murdered in her apartment by intruder awarded $1.85
million in suit against building owner; same apartment had allegedly
been entered before by a different burglar who used the landlord's
ladder to reach the window of entry, as the assailant in this case
purportedly did. In re. Liquidation of Pine Top Insurance Co., No. 86
CH-5898, Cir. Ct. Cook Cty., Ill., reported in Chicago Daily Law
Bulletin, p. 3 (Feb. 2, 1993).
18. 110:134 Female
tenant kidnapped from apartment complex laundry room and raped by
intruder to receive $1.5 million settlement in inadequate security
lawsuit against building owner and building's management company.
Edwards v. M&S Assocs., Tex., Bexar County 150th Jud. Dist. Ct., No.
92-CI-06099, Apr. 13, 1993, reported in ATLA L. Rep. 217 (Aug. 1993).
19. 114:9 Tenant
beaten and raped by intruder who entered her apartment with a stolen key
receives $4 million settlement from building management co. in
inadequate security suit. Doe v. Wilsonschanzer, Inc., Tex., Harris
County 11th Jud. Dist. Ct., No. 91-017643, Mar. 29, 1993, reported in 36
ATLA L. Rptr. 334 (Nov. 1993).
20. 116:39 Family of
female tenant kidnapped from apartment lobby by homeless person, raped,
sodomized, tortured, and killed, receives $1.3 million settlement in
inadequate security suit against building owners and managers. Zeleke v.
Equity Management, Inc., U.S. Dist Ct., E.D. Va., Nos. 93-371-A,
93-372-A, May 3, 1993, reported in 37 ATLA L. Rep. 64 (March 1994).
21. 117:53 Woman tenant
raped by unknown intruder who entered through her bedroom window awarded
$180,000 in damages against building management company in inadequate
security lawsuit alleging inadequate locks and misrepresentation of
level of security in building. Veazey v. Elmwood Plantation Associates,
Ltd., 625 So. 2d 675 (La. App. 1993).
22. 122:134 Building
owner and managers reach $695,000 settlement with female tenant raped
and sodomized by two men who allegedly entered her apartment with a key;
suit claimed that one of assailants was a former tenant of the same
apartment and that defendants had failed to change locks after tenant
left. Doe v. Mullenix Properties, Inc., Mo., St. Louis City Cir. Ct.,
No. 922-1695, June 22, 1993, 37 ATLA Law Rptr. 137 (Mary 1994).
23. 124:169 Female
tenant raped in apartment complex receives $450,000 settlement in
inadequate security lawsuit; suit claimed that, despite close to 265
incidents on the premises, building management had told her that there
had been no crime there. Doe v. Balcor Property Management, Inc., Ga.,
Fulton County State Ct., No. 91VS48253, Sept. 14, 1993, 37 ATLA L. Rep.
230 (Aug. 1994).
24. 124:169 Estate of
female tenant raped and murdered by intruder who entered apartment
through sliding glass door with broken lock receives $2.1 million
settlement in inadequate security lawsuit. Sutherland v. Benderson Dev.,
Inc., Fla., Hillsborough County Cir. Ct., No. 91-7409, Aug. 10, 1993, 37
ATLA L. Rep. 231 (Aug. 1994).
25. 124:170 California
appeals court overturns $1.2 million jury award to tenant/rape victim in
case where jury found landlord 95% at fault and rapist and his
accomplice on 5% at fault; apportionment of fault was "blatantly
unfair." Pamela B. v. Hayden, 31 Cal. Rptr. 2d 147 (Cal. App.
26. 129:57 Landlord
was not liable to employee of tenant who was kidnapped and raped;
criminal attack was not foreseeable in absence of evidence of prior
similar crimes on the premises. Whittaker v. Saraceno, 418 Mass. 196,
635 N.E.2d 1185 (1994).
27. 131:86 UPDATE:
Louisiana Supreme Court upholds $180,000 award against landlord to
tenant raped by intruder in her apartment; court finds that it was
proper to not reduce award for unknown rapist's proportion of fault;
such a comparison would be "contrary to public policy" by
reducing a landlord's incentives to protect against such attacks
reoccurring. Veazey v. Elmwood Plantation Associates, Ltd., 646 So. 2d
866 (La. 1994).
28. 132:104 $3.5
million settlement in inadequate security lawsuit against building
management by three women all allegedly attacked (and two raped) over a
two month period by the same intruder who broke into the building on
three occasions. Doe v. Kaimor Management (U.S.) 1986, Inc., Ga., Fulton
County Super. Ct., No. E-767, Mar. 10, 1994, reported in 38 (2) ATLA L.
Rep. 64 (March 1995).
29. 133:121 $750,000
settlement in suit by 29-year-old female tenant sexually assaulted in
her apartment; suit alleged apartment complex failed to take adequate
security measures despite prior similar crimes on the premises. Doe v.
Krupp Realty Co., Ga., Fulton County Super. Ct., No. E-363, June 29,
1994, reported in 38 ATLA L. Rep. 149 (Mary 1995).
30. 134:137 Landlord
had no duty to protect guest of tenant from abduction in parking lot,
sexual abuse and murder, even if it did have, for sake of argument, a
duty to protect tenant. Kenney v. Cox, 649 So. 2d 15 (La. App. 1994).
31. 138:7 $1.5 million
settlement in suit brought by female tenant abducted from apartment
building laundry room and raped; inadequate security suit claimed that
building promised roving security patrols but that sole security guard
had been fired and not replaced before incident. Doe v. Genmar Realty
Group, Tex., Harris County 165th Jud. Dist. Ct., No. 93-41406, May 10,
1995, 38 ATLA L. Rep. No. 7, p.272 (Sept. 1995).
32. 138:8 Tenant in
multi-vendor jewelry sales building awarded $850,000 for loss of items
placed in his safe overnight; plaintiff argued building security was
inadequate and that defendant building owner should have conducted more
thorough investigation into janitor's background. Sogomonyan v. Discount
Jewelry Center, BC094852, L.A. Superior Central Court, Los Angeles,
Calif., Sept. 1, 1995, 108 (181) Los Angeles Daily Journal Verdicts
& Settlements, p. 4 (Sept. 22, 1995).
33. 143:88 Award of
$250,000 against landlord to female tenant robbed and raped in apartment
building was erroneous despite evidence of defective front door lock on
building, in absence of any evidence to show that this was how assailant
actually gained entry to building. Kirsten M. v. Bettina Equities Co.,
Inc., 634 N.Y.S.2d 481 (A.D. 1995).
34. 144:104 Arkansas
Supreme Court rules that landlord's "modest, conscientious
measures" aimed at deterring on premises crime did not result in
its assumption of a duty to protect tenants against third-party assault;
apartment complex landlord was not liable for shooting and killing of
tenant's 17-year-old son by other tenant's guest. Hall v. Rental
Management, Inc., 913 S.W.2d 293 (Ark. 1996).
35. 145:121 Landlord's
were not liable for shooting of tenant's employee by her co-worker;
landlord had no duty to provide security inside rented office premises
which tenant had exclusive right to control. Gale v. North Meadow
Associates Joint Venture, 466 S.E.2d 648 (Ga. App. 1995).
36. [N/R] Out-of-possession
landlord had no duty to provide security at business facility, and
assaulted employee was not a third-party beneficiary of security
contract between security firm and his employer. O'Gorman v. Gold Shield
Security & Investigation, Inc., 633 N.Y.S.2d 517 (A.D. 1995).
This website is not
intended to provide specific legal advice. Click here.