Property Owner Makes $1M Settlement for a Wrongful Death Claim

According to the Florida Times Union, the estate of a 19-year-old woman slain in the crossfire of a drug-related attack last year has received a $1 million settlement from the apartment complex property owner for a wrongful death claim. The beneficiaries include her 2-year-old twin toddlers.

The pre-lawsuit settlement finalized last week said that Danielle Melton was an innocent bystander when she was gunned down while sitting outside of the Prince Street Apartments in Jacksonville, Florida. She was shot twice in the chest. The two men involved in the attack also died at the scene, and a 16-month old boy recovered from a gunshot to the head.

The property owner failed to provide any kind of security at the 30-unit complex despite it being in a crime-ridden neighborhood. Ms. Melton’s attorney said the owner had a duty to provide reasonable safety to prevent a crime he called foreseeable. The attorney also said that police responded to 45 calls of mostly violent crimes on the property and more than 100 within 500 feet of the property line in the three years prior to Ms. Melton’s wrongful death.

The apartment owner was also at fault for employing a property management company prohibited from practicing in Florida. Ms. Melton’s attorney stated, “the shame of it is that this had to happen when it was predictable, preventable and it was clear violence was unchecked.”

If you or someone you know has been harmed on property that has failed to provide adequate security or has failed to properly screen employees in order to protect tenants and residents from foreseeable acts of others, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling (713) 222-7211.