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HLF Letter

Haggard Law Firm > HLF Letter

$2 Million Negligent Security Settlement Involving Victim who was Stabbed 12 Times

$2 Million Settlement in Negligent Security Case Involving Apartment Complex that Didn’t Remove Problem Resident Before He Stabbed Plaintiff 12 Times

Pompano Beach, FL – Patricia Norris never knew the danger she entered when she moved to the Palm Aire Gardens Apartments in late 2016.  For nearly ten months the manager of the complex had received complaints from multiple young female residents that a resident named Charles Gipson was threatening, harassing, and stalking them. One resident even took out a restraining order against him. Despite the warnings, neither the Palm Aire Gardens Condominium Association nor property managers (First Service Residential Florida) took any steps to keep residents safe from Gipson.

Safety Questions To Ask Your Landlord

How Safe Is the Apartment You Want to Rent? Key Questions to Ask a Landlord Before Signing a Lease

A sense of security and safety for you and your family is key to making a house feel like a home.

Unfortunately, many landlords don’t provide, and in some cases aren’t legally required to share, crime and safety information to a potential tenant.

“Along with costs and amenities, tenants should be prepared to ask a variety of questions about safety measures before signing a lease and moving into a new apartment or home” says Michael Haggard. Haggard is the Managing Partner of The Haggard Law Firm (www.haggardlawfirm.com) which has made a mark successfully representing tenants who are injured or killed by someone committing a crime that could have been prevented if the landlord of the property where the crime occurs had taken proper security measures.

PRESS CONFERENCE: Teenage Victims of Sex Assault By Teacher Suing School Board

Mothers of Victims to Discuss New Lawsuits Against Miami -Dade County School Board On Behalf of Teenagers Sexually Assaulted By Middle School Teacher

This is the first time these mothers have spoken out.

Miami, FL – A lawsuit was recently filed against the School Board of Miami-Dade County on behalf of a teenage female victim (Jane Doe) who was sexually assaulted by former Brownsville Middle School physical education teacher Wendell Nibbs.

Beginning in her 6th grade school year and continuing through the end of her 8th grade school year at Brownsville Middle (2013 through 2016), Nibbs sexually harassed, sexually assaulted and raped Jane Doe. The assaults and rape occurred on school premises. Nibbs also sent Jane Doe sexually explicit photographs of himself.

The mother of Jane Doe will be joined by the mother of Jan Doe at a press conference to be held Monday January 7, 2019 outside of the Miami-Dade County School Building in downtown Miami.

In 2016, while in 8th grade, Jan Doe was sexually harassed, assaulted and discriminated against (on the basis of her sexual orientation) by Nibbs on school property. Jan Doe’s lawsuit will be filed later this month.

Pedro Echarte of The Haggard Law Firm and Aaron A. Karger of the Law Offices of Aaron A. Karger represent the victims and say they will also file a third case against the School Board on behalf of another victim.  The attorneys say the school and School Board were well aware of Nibbs’ inappropriate and illegal behavior, as well as the risk he posed to young female students, and did nothing about it. The attorneys believe there may be other victims, suffering in shame and silence.

Between 2004 and 2016, Nibbs had been accused by at least six different female middle school students of making inappropriate sexual comments, engaging in inappropriate physical contact of a sexual nature, and sending or showing them sexually explicit photographs. Despite these separate accusations Nibbs was permitted to remain at Brownsville Middle as a teacher.

PRESS CONFERENCE DETAILS

*The mothers of both victims are requesting that their faces and distinguishing marks do not appear on camera.

Date: Monday, January 7, 2019

Press Conference start: Noon

Location: Outside the Miami-Dade County School Board Building- Downtown, 1450 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132

Press Conference Speakers:

  • Mother of Jane Doe
  • Mother of Jan Doe
  • Pedro Echarte, The Haggard Law Firm
  • Aaron A. Karger, Law Offices of Aaron A. Karger

 CONTACT: J.P. HERVIS, 305.321.4293, JP@BrandstoryCommunications.com

Press Conference: Mother of 12-Year-Old Who Was Kidnapped & Murdered Files Neglient Security Lawsuit

Press Conference Scheduled 12/18/18

Mother of a 12 Year Old Murdered By a Convicted Sex Offender Says Owners/Managers of an Apartment Complex Could Have Prevented the Tragedy

Pensacola, FL – Shantara Hurry, the mother of 12-year-old Naomi Jones, who police say was murdered by convicted sex offender Robert Howard in 2017, is filing a negligent security lawsuit against those responsible for the apartment complex where her daughter was kidnapped.

Jones went missing from her apartment located at 1460 E. Johnson Avenue in Pensacola, Florida on May 31, 2017. The disappearance captivated and mobilized the community to find Naomi. Her remains were eventually found in an Escambia County creek on June 5. Two days later, Howard was arrested and charged with the kidnapping and murder. The 39-year-old convicted sex offender lived in the same complex as the 12-year-old girl and her family.

The lawsuit against the owners of that apartment complex, Aspen Village Acquisition, and the management company, Progressive Management of America, highlights that the two companies should have known or knew that they were allowing a convicted sex offender, Howard, to live in the complex.  The lawsuit  adds that apartment ownership and management “breached its duty of reasonable care by permitting an unregistered sex offender to reside upon the Premises, thus allowing the offender continual, unfettered access to young children and others upon whom persons with his predilections are known to prey.”

The Haggard Law Firm is representing Jones’ mother in the case. Trial lawyer Christopher Marlowe (email CLM@HaggardLawFirm.com) says for the family the press conference and lawsuit is about holding everyone accountable for this tragic loss and preventing it from happening again.

“Ms. Hurry wants to bring attention to this civil action (lawsuit) in hopes that it will motivate all apartment complex owners and managers to exercise actionable, logical and moral care by never allowing offenders to live in their property, giving them access to children,” says Marlowe.

 

Press/Media Conference Details

  • 11 AM on Tuesday, December 18th, 2018
  •  820 North 12th Avenue Pensacola FL 32501 (Law Office of Samuel Bearman)
  • Speaking:  Shantara Hurry, Naomi Jones’ mother,  Christopher Marlowe, The Haggard Law Firm, Trial Lawyer
  • News Media contact: J.P. Hervis, Brandstory Communications, JP@BrandstoryCommunications.com

REPORT: Code Red Confusion By School Employees on Day of Mass Shooting

According to a report by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, employees at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were “tragically unprepared” to best protect students on the day of the mass shooting that killed 17 people and injured 17 others. The newspapers reports that the lack of preparation was due to “inadequate training and unclear procedures in the school district.”

The lack of a coherent, uniform policy is one of the major failures identified by a state commission investigating the Feb. 14 massacre.

The paper learned that district officials were unsure as to whether a “Code Red” meant an “active killer”. It does not.

$2 Million Settlement in Child Sexual Assault Case

Owners of a Key West apartment complex have agreed to pay $2 Million to the family of a minor who was sexually assaulted multiple times by a de facto employee.
The minor child victim was living with his family in a rental apartment in Key West. Over a period of several months, the child was subjected to multiple sexual assaults and batteries at the hands of the de facto property manager while on the premises. The abuse was discovered by the child’s mother, who promptly reported the matter to the police. The criminal offender died before the criminal case was completed and before the suit was filed in the civil matter.
The apartment complex denied that the offender was an employee of the owner, or that he had the level of access to the child’s apartment that the plaintiff claimed in this case. Haggard Law Firm attorneys Christopher MarloweMichael Haggard and co-counsel Chelsie M. Lamie represented the family of the victim. Their investigation revealed that the offender executed many of the duties of a property manager and received a discount on his rent from the owners for the work done.
Several witnesses indicated that the offender had acted inappropriately over the years, albeit not as severely as in this case. The offender was a convicted felon who had no record of convictions for any prior similar crime, but whose qualifications for the job were suspect on multiple levels.
The child victim was an extraordinarily brave and credible young person who wanted to send a message to other property owners to act responsibly so no other children are victimized.

 

 

 

Press Conference Discussing Legal Action Against Florida City in Police Shooting Death

 

 

On May 30, 2018, 23 year old Juvon Simon was shot twice through the closed door of a neighbor’s apartment by Florida City Police Officer Frantz Hardy. Simon died as a result of his injuries. The Haggard Law Firm has joined with the Law Firm of Asnis, Srebnick & Kaufman to represent the Simon family. We have jointly filed, on behalf of Simon’s mother, a lawsuit against the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s office and The City of Florida City.

The intention of the legal filing (a pure bill of discovery) is to make sure the family has access to all evidence that materializes as part of the criminal investigation into the shooting. The family also wants to ensure that the investigation is conducted in a timely manner.

On Wednesday October 31, 2018 at 11 AM, the Simon family will hold a press conference outside of Florida City Hall to discuss the legal filing.

During the press conference family members will be joined by The Haggard Law Firm’s Christopher Marlowe and Dan Kaufman of Asnis, Srebnick & Kaufman to discuss a variety of topics including:

  • Contrary to published reports, their son DID NOT have a weapon on his person when he was killed
  • Multiple witnesses report seeing officer Hardy enter the active crime scene with a duffel bag.
  • Officer Hardy shot Simon through a door.
  • Florida City Police refuse to share with the family the officer’s file or details of any internal affairs investigation.

If you are a member of the media interested in attending or learning more, please contact J.P. HERVIS, Senior Publicist, Brandstory Communications 561.995.6560, JP@BrandstoryCommunications.com

 

Safety Steps Property Managers & HOAs Should Take This Halloween

 

 

By Christopher Marlowe, trial lawyer, The Haggard Law Firm (www.HaggardLawFirm.com)

Halloween is one of the more interesting celebrations in the United States and throughout much of the world.  For a few hours one night of the year, generally beginning at dusk, children of all ages transform into their favorite ghoul, villain, superhero, princess or idol.  They have a license to collect as much candy as the human body could possibly consume in a dizzyingly short period, and will likely go to bed sated on a meal fit for only Willy Wonka.