Shiver Hamilton Wins $20,000,000 Verdict Against Apartment Complex in Clayton County, Georgia

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A Clayton County Georgia Jury reached a $20,000,000 verdict on behalf of a man who was killed by criminals at a Forrest Park, Georgia apartment complex.

On September 9, 2016 a Clayton County Georgia Jury reached a $20,000,000 verdict on behalf of a man who was killed by criminals at a Forrest Park, Georgia apartment complex. According to Plaintiff’s Complaint, on January 24, 2015 Florencio Gomez-Mendez, a resident at Bradford Ridge Apartments, was shot and killed at Bradford Ridge Apartments by unknown assailants. His widow, Pascuala Perez, filed a lawsuit in Clayton County State Court making claims that the apartment complex did not have adequate security. The Defendant, JAMCO Properties, filed an Answer denying that it was negligent. Shiver Hamilton was joined by Darren Summerville and Mecca Anderson of The Summerville Firm.

The case proceeded to trial on August 29, 2016. During trial Plaintiff presented testimony that numerous prior crimes occurred at Bradford Ridge. JAMCO Properties also owned and operated another apartment complex directly across Old Dixie highway, Laurel Pointe. Witnesses who worked at both properties testified that numerous violent crimes occurred at both properties and JAMCO had knowledge of those crimes. Plaintiffs alleged that JAMCO should have increased its security measures in light of the numerous crimes. JAMCO denied that the crimes warranted additional measures.

On Thursday September 8, 2016, the all-female jury returned a verdict against JAMCO. They awarded the Plaintiff $18,000,000 for the full value of Gomez-Mendez' life and $2,000,000 for the pain and suffering he experienced before he died. The jury apportioned fault 50% to JAMCO and 50% to the unknown perpetrators.

“We are grateful that the jury agreed with us that Florencio’s life had tremendous value” said Plaintiffs’ attorney Jeff Shiver of Shiver Hamilton, LLC, an Atlanta based wrongful death and personal injury law firm. “Many people suggest that juries will not award full value for the life of an immigrant from Mexico. This verdict confirms what we all know: people of all colors, creeds and nationality have immeasurable intrinsic value.” continued Shiver.

According to the plaintiff's complaint filed in the Estate of Steven Diaz v. JAMCO (State Court of Clayton County, Civil Action File No.: 2014CV00427E.), Florencio Gomez-Mendez is the second person to die at the hands of criminals at Bradford Ridge in less than two years. In July 2013 a 13 year old boy, Steven Diaz, died when robbers came onto Bradford Ridge and tried to steal a truck. When the robbers could not start the truck, they became angry and started shooting, hitting Steven and causing his death.

"Our hope is that this verdict lets everyone know, particularly apartment management companies, that they must protect their residents,” said Shiver Hamilton partner Alan Hamilton.

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