$2.3 Million Verdict Against Landlord Who Provided Inadequate Security for Bronx Tenants

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A Bronx jury found a landlord liable for a tenant's injuries - including a brain hematoma requiring a craniotomy - sustained when an intruder gained access to the building because of a faulty front door lock. Trial witnesses said the lock had been broken for a long time.

A Bronx jury has found the landlord of an Elder Avenue building liable for $2.3 million to a former tenant injured when he was attacked inside the lobby of the building. Raymundo Tehozol, 37 years old at the time of the attack, was a tenant residing at 1151 Elder Avenue on January 24, 2003, when he was beaten with a baseball bat by two unknown attackers. As a result of the attack, Mr. Tehozol suffered an epidural hematoma requiring a craniotomy and a fractured clavicle. See Tehozol v. Anand Realty, et al, Bronx County Index Number 21476/2003.

Justin Blitz, of Shandell, Blitz, Blitz & Bookson, the Manhattan law firm that represented Mr. Tehozol, proved during the two-week trial that there had been several similar attacks in the building and that the locks to the lobby doors had been broken for months before the attack. Mr. Blitz also showed that the landlord did nothing to fix the doors or otherwise provide even minimal security for the building's tenants. In fact, during the trial the jury heard from two other tenants who had been robbed prior to the attack on Mr. Tehozol.

Despite the overwhelming testimony to the contrary, the landlord maintained he knew nothing about prior attacks or broken lobby door locks.

After four hours of deliberation the jury returned a unanimous verdict for Mr. Tehozol totaling $2,300,000.

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