Broward Jury Awards $1.59M to Man in Premises Liability Claim
Man Sustains Severe Injuries When Car Plowed Into Bagel Shop
Property Owner Failed to Address Known Crime Risk
Fort Lauderdale, Florida – (May 23, 2016) – A Broward County jury awarded a Pompano Beach man more than $1.593 million today for severe and permanent injuries suffered when a car plowed through the front window of a restaurant, striking the man and leaving him with permanent injuries.
The 6-member jury found that the defendants were liable to Daniel Rothman for his injuries due to their negligence and their failure to provide adequate security at what was a known area for criminal activity. Rothman was represented by Scott Schlesinger, Steven J. Hammer, and Zane Berg of Schlesinger Law Offices in Fort Lauderdale.
“This was known to be a high-crime area by law enforcement, however, the shopping center owner claimed to know nothing about that and did nothing to warn patrons or protect the premises from potential criminal activity,” said Scott Schlesinger. “This was their duty, and their negligence had traumatic, lasting consequences.”
Daniel Rothman, 65, was at the Bagel Snack Restaurant in the Palm Square Shopping Plaza at 1291 South Powerline Road on March 10, 2010. In the parking lot, Lessie Williams Bryant was in her car writing checks to pay her bills and was approached by two men, one of whom got into her car in an effort to rob her. Ms. Williams Bryant panicked, lost control of her vehicle, and drove through the front of the restaurant, striking Rothman. Rothman was left with a broken back, multiple fractures to his leg, broken ribs and a head injury, and six years later, still has lasting injuries.
Rothman’s lawsuit alleged that Ms. Williams Bryant, as well as, Shamira-Pompano Holdings Inc.; Yorkland Palm Square Inc.; Gold-Globe Property Management Ltd.; and Amit-Pompano Inc., were all negligent. Attorneys successfully argued that the property owner knew the premises were subject to criminal activity, and therefore should have anticipated a foreseeable danger and should have provided adequate security for such a criminal attack.
They further argued that property owners were negligent regarding the design, construction, maintenance, and management of the premises in not installing protective pipe bollards to prevent a vehicle from plowing into the restaurant.
“They had a duty to warn their customers about the risks outside and an obligation to protect them,” Hammer said. In fact, such accidents are not unique. Every day, upward of 60 vehicles crash into buildings, causing more than 3,600 injuries annually and nearly 500 deaths per year. “These are frightening statistics, but this is not an uncommon occurrence. Property owners have to do whatever it takes to make sure their patrons are safe.”
The jury awarded $493,704 in past and future medical expenses and $1.1 million for Rothman’s pain and suffering, disability, physical impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish, inconvenience, and loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life.