A jury awarded a family $6.34 million in a premises liability lawsuit against an apartment complex in Houston, Texas. Testimony revealed that two men, tortured, raped, murdered, and discarded the body of a 15-year-old girl in an abandoned Clear Lake apartment complex. The men were convicted of capital murder and a successful lawsuit was brought by the girl’s family and her attorneys against the apartment complex.
Property owners of apartment complexes, like the one mentioned above, have a duty to ensure that the premises under their control are in a safe condition. If someone is injured due to an owner’s failure to remedy an unsafe condition or failure to warn about a hazard, including known criminal activity, the owner can be held liable in a premises liability claim.
In this case, witness testified that the apartment complex failed to provide sufficient on-site security. Lawyers for the family argued the property owners also allowed the doors and windows of an abandoned apartment to be left unlocked which allowed the criminal assailants to enter the property and commit heinous acts. Additionally, the defendants did not monitor the vacant apartment to ensure that trespassers did not enter the property.
While property owners often blame the victim for his/her own injuries, it is reasonable for people to expect that the owners will provide a safe environment. When an owner has the opportunity to correct a dangerous condition but fails to do so, it can be held liable to those injured or their families.
If you or someone you know has been injured due to the negligence of others, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-231-9360 or toll free at 1‑800-594-4884.