$1 Million Settlement in Premises Case
Court: State Court of DeKalb County
Judge: Hon. Stacey Hydrick
Plaintiff’s Attorneys: Andrew Rogers, Deitch & Rogers
Defendant’s Attorneys: Sun Choy, Freeman Mathis & Gary
Alleged Damages: Rape due to inadequate security
Settlement Amount: $1,000,000
Date of Settlement: October 19, 2012
Defendant property owner, TBVT, owned a two-building shopping center where it hosted a battle of the bands event in January, 2010. Despite the expected crowd of 1500-2000 people and the knowledge that a serial rapist had been active in the area, Defendant TBVT allegedly failed to provide security in the parking lot. According to an article in the Daily Report, one employee testified on deposition that the owner of TBVT warned her not to stay late and not to walk to her car alone. Mark Neisse, Rape Victim Gets $1 Million Settlement Eve of Trial, Daily Report, October 25, 2012, at 1.
The 28-year-old Plaintiff was accosted after parking in the back lot, as directed, because the front lot was full. According to the article in the Daily Report, the assailant forced her to drive to an ATM and withdraw money, before brutally raping her.
TBVT paid its $1 Million policy limits on the eve of trial, for probably three main reasons: The publicity surrounding the rapist prior to the attack; the history of violent crime in the same parking lot; and DeKalb County State Court Judge Stacey Hydrick’s ruling that excluded Defendant’s expert from testifying that the rapist (who was later arrested and charged) was not one to have been deterred by security.