Negligent Security

Haggard Law Firm > Negligent Security

The Haggard Law Firm has litigated nearly 200 cases involving the failure to provide adequate security resulting in the victim suffering severe injuries and/or death. Since 2007,  The Firm has obtained over $400 million in verdicts and settlements in those cases.


Establishments such as bars, restaurants, flea markets, shopping centers, nursing homes, banks, hotels and apartment buildings have all been subjects of successfully litigated negligent security claims. By representing families of loved ones killed or individuals permanently injured in cases stemming from negligent security, we take an active role in making the community safe for the public.


In 2017 and 2016 TopVerdict named two different Haggard Law Firm cases as the #1 inadequate security (negligent security) verdicts in Florida each respective year.


In November 2007, attorney Michael Haggard successfully obtained a $102.7 million verdict in a negligent security case thought to be the largest verdict of its kind in the country. On July 31, 2002, Sami Barrak was a patron at Tootsie’s Cabaret, which was a tenant at the Sierra Shopping Center owned by Report Investment Corporation. Mr. Barrak and a friend were leaving the establishment when the friend returned to retrieve an item left inside. As Mr. Barrak sat waiting in his car for his friend to return he was approached by an unknown person who attempted to rob him at gunpoint. After a brief exchange of unknown words, the assailant shot Mr. Barrak in the neck and left, rendering Mr. Barrak a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic. The jury found that Report Investment Corporation, Inc., owned and managed the property and therefore had the duty to maintain it in a reasonable safe condition commensurate with the activities conducted on the property in order to prevent harm to its business invitees. At the time of the shooting, there was only one guard on duty to observe and report any crimes that might occur in and around Tootsie’s Cabaret. Report Investment Corporation provided no security and admitted they had never spent one dollar on security or safety. There had been a reported 26 violent crimes on the same property during the seven years prior to Mr. Barrak’s incident. Please click here to view a video regarding this highly publicized case.

In 2017 the Daily Business Review/ wrote an article about The Haggard Law Firm’s  negligent security case success, click to read 


Our trial attorneys were able to obtain a $12 million verdict in a 2017 negligent security wrongful death case involving a 30-year-old woman who was murdered shortly after not receiving the help she requested from the staff of the Chesapeake Hotel in Hialeah Florida. Yaimi Guevara Machado was locked out of her room wearing jeans and bra. Eventually, a man who had purchased alcohol and requested a prostitute from hotel staff, as well as sexually assaulted a housekeeper,  would find Machado. He proceeded to gain her trust, attempt to sexually assault her and then beat her to death. In 2018, TopVerdict recognized verdict, in this case, the #1 inadequate security (negligent security) and #3 premises liability case result in Florida for 2017. This was the 2nd consecutive year Haggard Law had obtained the #1 inadequate security ranking.


In 2016 The Haggard Law Firm delivered a $10.1 Million settlement in a negligent security case involving a young father who was paralyzed after a shooting during an attempted home invasion robbery.


Attorney Wm. Andrew Haggard was able to obtain a $2 million settlement for the family of Bryan Pata, a standout University of Miami football player who was tragically shot in the parking lot of his apartment complex in Miami.


Another noteworthy case dealing with negligent security is Maldonado v. Park Plaza Hotel in which the plaintiff was attacked and killed in the hotel parking lot after leaving the hotel bar early in the morning. An angry patron, who had confronted the plaintiff in the bar, followed him out to the parking lot and beat him to death. The case resulted in a $4 million settlement between the hotel and the family of the victim.



Notable Negligent Security Cases


$102.7 million – Verdict (Miami, Florida)Negligent Security

Plaintiff Sami Barrak was a patron at Tootsie’s Cabaret. He and a friend were leaving the establishment when the friend returned to retrieve an item left inside. As Barrak sat waiting in his car for his friend to return he was approached by an unknown person who shot Mr. Barrak in the neck rendering him a ventilator-dependant quadriplegic. The $102 million verdict is the largest jury verdict awarded in history for a negligent security case.


$12 million – Verdict (Miami, Florida)Negligent Security

The victim was locked out of room 106 of the Chesapeake Motel on April 10, 2016.  The victim entered the lobby of the motel in her bra and jeans, and asked for room 106 to be opened by the front desk clerk.  The clerk instructed the victim to go wait outside the door to room 106.  Twenty minutes prior to the victim entering the lobby a man walked in drunk and claimed to be the manager’s son and asked for beer.  The front desk clerk sold the man beer despite the motel’s policy only to sell alcohol to guests.  The man then asks for a prostitute and the clerk tells the man he needed to find servicewomen outside.  The man leaves the lobby and stops at room 104 where a housekeeper is cleaning a room by herself.  The man asks the housekeeper for a kiss and then enters room 104 and asks the housekeeper for a second kiss.  The housekeeper threatens to call the front desk and the man stands at the door to 104 until he sees the victim walking down the hallway toward him.  The door to room 106 was never opened and the last time the victim is seen was walking toward the front entrance in the area where she was brutally murdered by the man.

Bryan Perez, et al. vs. Carmel Lakes Property Owners Association, Inc., et al.

$10.6 Million- Settlement (Miami, Florida) – Negligent Security

The homeowners association, property manager, and other related entities at a Miami townhome community agreed to pay more than $10 million dollars to Haggard Law Firm client Bryan Perez and his infant son to settle a negligent security lawsuit.

On August 18th 2014, in an attempted armed home invasion robbery, Perez was shot 6 times in his family’s rental unit at the Carmel Lakes townhome community in Miami.  As a result of the crime, Perez was rendered an incomplete paraplegic. Perez had recently moved to the complex with his family and was unaware of its history of crime, which consisted of numerous burglaries and armed robberies. The Haggard Law Firm’s Pedro Echarte who litigated the case says “the community’s security measures were entirely inadequate to protect its residents and tenants.”


On the night of the incident, Perez was on his porch with a friend when three gunmen approached and asked for a safe that was in the home.  Perez and his family were the victims of a burglary at the same unit a few months before the subject shooting, had purchased a safe to store their valuables as a result, and the box for that safe was on the porch at the time of the shooting.  While demanding Perez and his guest enter the home, Perez attempted to close a sliding glass door in an effort to protect his family, including his then-pregnant girlfriend, mother, and little sister who were all inside the home at the time of the incident.  The gunmen proceeded to start shooting through the glass door, hitting Perez multiple times.


$6,650,000.00 – Negligent Security

ABC Apartment complex looked nice enough. The trees were trimmed, the grass cut, and a fresh coat of paint gave the impression that this was a safe, family friendly community. One summer night John Doe returned to his girlfriend’s apartment after visiting the grocery store to get additional items for the intended dinner party. John had a loud pickup truck, and his girlfriend could hear the muffler as he pulled into the lot upon his return. A few moments later, she heard a scream, then sounds of a struggle, followed by a single gunshot. John lost massive amounts of blood, causing him permanent and irreversible brain damage. He would never talk, walk, eat, use the bathroom, or do any activity of daily living again. His three children would never interact with their father again. Despite all appearances, and assurances by management that the complex was safe, no one was told of the multiple shootings and robberies that had taken place at the complex over the years. John, his girlfriend, and his three children were just another sad story on the nightly news.


$5.7 Million- Negligent Security/Wrongful Death – Verdict (Miami-Dade)

On June 9, 2009, 24 year-old Trinard Snell was shot and killed during an attempted armed robbery at the car wash located at the 71st Street Valero Gas Station. He lost his life in a completely unprovoked attack, while sitting under a tent at the car wash waiting for the next customer to arrive. Three young men came up behind Trinard in an attempt to rob him and his co-worker. Unable to see what was going on, he jumped up and ran but was shot from behind and killed. Despite an
alarming history of violent crimes against persons on the property, the operator did absolutely nothing to protect Trinard Snell and other customers of the car wash and gas station. Mr. Snell’s mother sued the owners of the convenience store for negligent security. In 2012, a jury found the owners negligent for failing to implement proper and adequate security measures and awarded the family $5.7 Million. John, his girlfriend, and his three children were just another sad story on the nightly news.


$5.5 Million- Settlement – Negligent Security/Wrongful Death

On Christmas Day 2012, Darrell Brackett (aged 44) was traveling back home in his car when he ran low on gas. Brackett made a trip to a nearby gas station to fill up his container, when he was ambushed by a gang of men who doused him in gas and set him on fire. Brackett suffered severe burns on 75 percent of his body and ultimately succumbed to his injuries on February 15th 2013. The family was awarded $5.5 million following a settlement against the station’s owner.


$5 Million – Settlement – Negligent Security (Miami-Dade County, Florida)

Youness Adlan was a patron at Cameo Nightclub on South Beach bringing in the New Year on December 31, 2014. While waiting for his friend who he became separated from, Youness exited the back door of the club. Youness was in the doorway when Cody Quaife yanked him from the back door and pushed him toward the front. Youness went back toward Quaife and out of the view of the surveillance camera. Eye witnesses that saw the incident stated that Quaife, while unprovoked, punched Youness in the face. The one fatal blow caused Youness’ head to hit the sidewalk and resulted in a massive brain bleed that rendered him into a coma. Youness was 22 years old at the time. The defendant, Cameo Nightclub, tendered their five million dollars in insurance as a result of a demand.


$4.85 Million – Settlement – Negligent Security

YPlaintiff suffered severe burns on 68% of his body after being lit on fire while sleeping in his truck. Facts giving rise to the lawsuit were that the defendant failed to meet industry standards when dealing with an intoxicated person on their premises. Defendant’s failure resulted in the assailant loitering for an extended period of time and ultimately lead to plaintiff’s injuries. The injuries were so extreme that plaintiff was left with no use of his hands outside of being able to lift his arms up and down. The case resulted in a settlement prior a week prior to trial in the amount of $4.85 Million


$4 Million – Negligent Security/Wrongful Death

Harry McMillan was visiting his sister at this extremely high crime apartment complex to celebrate a family birthday. He was sitting on the front porch waiting for his wife and daughter when assailants entered through an open front gate and started firing at a resident. Mr. McMillan was caught in the cross fire. He suffered internal organ damage, and lost a kidney. Further, his knee was shattered, and his ability to stand and walk were permanently limited. The property had been the site of multiple murders, including assaults with machine guns. The property, which had a host of security failures fired a very reputable security company, and instead, hired one run by a man with a criminal record, limited knowledge of security principles, and virtually no policies, procedures, or oversight. This case settled for $4 million.


$3.25 Million – (Fort Myers, Florida) – Negligent Security/Wrongful Death

In 2012, 23-year-old Zhi Wei Huang was gunned down after delivering food from his family’s Chinese restaurant to the Westchase Apartment Complex in Fort Myers. Mr. Huang was shot during what the police believe was a robbery attempt. He was taken to an area hospital, where he perished from his injuries. The owners of the apartment complex and management company were sued for failing to provide adequate security. In 2015, the owners of the Westchase Apartment Complex agreed to a settlement and the family was awarded $3.25 million.


$3,090,000 Million-Settlement (Miami, Florida) – Negligent Security/Wrongful Death

On November 28th, 2011 Charles Lucas, Jr. was trying to diffuse an argument between his friends and several patrons of the Kaffe Krystal Night Club in Miami following a car crash in the Club’s parking lot. Lucas was shot during that argument and later died at Baptist Hospital. A lawsuit was filed against the Club, Continental Group, the property management company, the property owners and the security company. The attorneys argued that the defendants did not take the necessary security measures needed to prevent the shooting despite the property’s location in a well-known high crime area. On December 2015, a global settlement was reached and the family was awarded $3,090,000 million.


$3 Million- Settlement (North Miami Beach, Florida) – Negligent Security

This negligent security case arose after Dennis Goref was shot six times at the North Miami Beach apartment complex. The apartment complex and management company negligently failed to implement adequate security measures to prevent the crime.

After work On May 3, 2014, Mr. Gore, age 39 at the time, and his friend played flag football and then went to the defendant apartment complex on NE 167th Street, in North Miami Beach. He asked his friend to take him to Walgreen’s to get an ace bandage because his knee was sore from playing football. The two men went downstairs to the friend’s car in the parking lot, but the plaintiff testified he realized he had left his wallet upstairs in his mother’s unit.  Gore told his friend to meet him around the other side of 10th Avenue while he went back upstairs to get his wallet. He grabbed his wallet and took the stairs down because there was a door that led directly into the parking lot where he had told his friend to pick him up.

When he got to the bottom of the stairs, he saw a man standing near the stairwell door that led to the hallway of the first floor apartments.  The stranger said, “Hey”, as Gore walked by, which made him  turn around and immediately he saw a gun being flashed at him. Gore ran to the door that led outside, but was met by a second assailant who tried to grab him.  The plaintiff was able to break free and exited the door that lead out to 10th Avenue.  It was at this moment when the bullets began to fly. All he remembered was running for his life and hoping he would survive.

Gore was transported to the hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to remove a kidney. Portions of his intestines and colon were also perforated and required surgical resection.  The case was settled for $3 million.


$2.85 Million- Settlement (Cocoa, Florida) – Negligent Security

On n Jan. 21, 2013, a gunman burst into a 7-year-old’s daytime birthday party at her family’s apartment in the city of Cocoa, near Cape Canaveral, killing the little girl’s mother, Lydia Bradford. The child’s grandmother, Equaller Bradford, was also targeted. She was shot at least 10 times, spent six months in the hospital, lost an eye and parts of her liver and spleen. Yvonne Smith, as representative of Lydia Bradford’s estate and of Equaller Bradford, sued the owner and manager of the apartment complex. She claimed that Boca Raton-based Xena International LLC and Xena Longwood LLC failed in their duty to keep the premises reasonably safe from foreseeable criminal attacks. In 2015, a settlement was reached the family received $2.85 million


$2.5 Million – Negligent Security

John Doe was a developmentally disabled twenty year old man, who relied on 24 hour/day assistance for his activities of daily living, including bathing and feeding himself. He had been living at the ABC Apartment complex for less than a year when 3 armed, masked men broke down the door, firing their weapons wildly throughout the apartment. John was in bed playing with toys before his bedtime. One bullet went through the drywall in the living room, and entered John’s spine. He was permanently paralyzed by this bullet. Neither John’s caretaker or his parents, who chose the ABC Apartment complex, had been given any notice about the shootings, robberies and other crimes that had plagued the ABC complex for more than 5 years, including a murder.


$2.5 Million

C.G. worked at a check cashing store within a small strip mall. She was married with a baby son. One morning, she was abducted while entering work. Her assailants dragged her into the store at gun point, ordered her to open the safe, and killed her. A lawsuit was brought against the strip Mall alleging negligent Security in their parking lot. The Strip Mall owners were aware of all the risks related to having a check cashing store on their property, but employed absolutely no security within their parking lot. This case settled prior to trial for $2.5 million.


$2.38 Million – Settlement (Miami-Dade, Florida) – Negligent Security/Wrongful Death & Personal Injury

On February 3, 2014, Jerrome Adams, Adam Hepburn, and Jamal Pratt went to a party at theirfriend’s apartment complex to watch the super bowl. After the game, Jerrome, Adam, and Jamal and the rest of the partygoers went out to the apartment complex’s courtyard where the partycontinued. While everyone was in the courtyard an unknown gunman walked undetected through a broken gate and unlit walkway into the courtyard and opened fire on the crowd. Jerrome, who was only 19 years old, was fatally wounded, leaving behind his two surviving parents. Adam and Jamal were each shot and sustained injuries. The Estate of Jerrome Adams, Adam Hepburn, and Jamal Pratt each filed lawsuits against the owner and manager of the apartment complex. The plaintiffs were able to show that the failure to implement adequate security proximately caused the shooting at the party. The defendants themselves conceded in deposition that the street where the apartment complex was located was one of the most dangerous streets in Miami-Dade County. Despite their testimony, the apartment complex had broken fences and gates, inoperable surveillance cameras, broken lights, and no security guards. The defendants settled the three cases for a total of $2.38 million.within their parking lot. This case settled prior to trial for $2.5 million.


$1.85 Million – Negligent Security/ Sexual Assault (Orange County, Florida)

A young woman was living in an apartment complex in Northern Florida. While she was sleeping, an unknown assailant gained entry into her apartment and committed a brutal sexual assault. The plaintiff had been previously burglarized prior to the sexual assault and notified the defendant of defective locks on the door. Defendants contested the sexual assault was not reasonably foreseeable based on the prior crime on the property. There were no prior violent crimes at the defendant’s apartment complex. Plaintiff filed suit contending prior violent crimes were not necessary in order to maintain defendants did not provide reasonably security. The case was set for trial and settled shortly before in the amount of $1,850,000.00.

RACHEAL L. HUMPHREY, as Personal Representative  of the Estate of DAMIAN BOWIE, deceased vs.  5013 SLIGH, LLC, d/b/a AVESTA DEL RIO  APARTMENTS, a Florida corporation, and  AVESTA HOMES, LLC, a Florida corporation

$1.8 Million – Settlement (Tampa, Florida) – Negligent Security

The companies that once owned the Avesta Del Rio Apartment Complex in Tampa agreed to pay the family of 23-year-old murder victim Damian Bowie $1.8 million to settle a negligent security lawsuit.  The lawsuit filed by Douglas McCarron of The Haggard Law Firm  alleged that the deadly 2014 shooting that claimed Bowie’s life could have been prevented if complex ownership took action after multiple requests by staff members to better secure the property. On March 2, 2014, Bowie visited the Del Rio apartments to spend time with friends before going to pick up his son Damian Jr. But, shortly before 4 p.m. that day, the father of three was assaulted, shot and killed on the property. “Through the course of our investigation, which included testimony by the defendant’s property manager, it was clear that the employees at the property were pleading for more security and consistently telling upper management how people’s lives were are risk. Instead of acting responsibly, the defendant simply turned a blind eye” said McCarron.


The lawsuit against 5013 Sligh LLC and Avesta Homes on behalf of the victim’s mother and his three children Damian Jr. (5), Damion (3) and Sincere (2 – born two months after his father was killed), alleged the property’s owners knew the area and property were considered high crime areas.


$1,750,000 – Negligent Security

The bar Miami bar was packed with late night revelers. Among them was John Doe, who came to celebrate a friend’s birthday. A group of bouncers tended to the front door, appearing to check everyone who entered for weapons with a metal detector. Surveillance video showed that most people were screened for weapons. One large group of young men, however, was not. Theyapproached the bounces, and with a friendly familiarity, were patted on the back and waived into the club. Unbeknownst to any of the patrons inside the club, those given a free pass were part of a vicious and notorious street gang in Miami. A confrontation between John Doe and the armed men ensued, with Mr. Doe having no reason to believe a gun would be involved. He died at the hospital following a single gunshot, and is survived by his minor son.


$1.5 Million- Settlement (Plantation, Florida) – Negligent Security/Wrongful Death

Marla Nelson, as PR of the estate of David Nelson, deceased. vs. Harbor Town Holdings, llc and Grep Southeast, llc., In 2012, David Lawrence Nelson, 31, a former Marine was shot and killed in the parking lot of the Harbor Town Apartment Homes in Plantation where he lived. The killer, Jaime Vogel, 47, was arrested and charged with murder. Nelson’s wife, Marla, sued the apartment complex’s management company for negligence, arguing that they should have known Vogel was a risk and never should have rented an apartment to his family. The circumstances leading to the Nelson lawsuit were unusual because security was not an issue and a background check was conducted-it just wasn’t read. The background check revealed Vogel had previously lived in another Plantation property managed by the same company, and that his family was asked to leave because of him making death threats against other tenants. Greystar failed to read the background screening they had in place. The Greystar Company settled Nelson’s claim for $1.5 million.


$1.5 Million – Settlement – Negligent Security

Decedent was shopping at defendant’s store when he was identified as an alleged suspect in fraud. Defendant employees followed the decedent throughout the mall in violation of their written policies and procedures while wearing plain clothes. Almost an hour after identifying the decedent as a possible suspect, defendant employees followed the decedent into the parking garage where contact was made. Failing to identify themselves, defendant employees gave chase where the decedent ended falling 40 feet to his death in the parking garage. Decedent sustained multiple skull fractures and a massive brain bleed that resulted in his death. The defendant agreed to pay $1.5 Million in a settlement prior to trial.


$1.45 Million – Settlement (Miami-Dade, Florida) – Negligent Security/Wrongful Death

On April 17, 2015, Jamal Martin Sr., was shot and killed in front of his apartment unit after coming home from work. A lawsuit was brought against the apartment complex and the property manager that owned and operated the building, alleging that the defendants failed to provide adequate security in light of a long history of crime at the complex and in the surrounding area. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of the decedent’s 8-year-old minor child who was the sole survivor to his claim. The defendants settled the lawsuit shortly after the lawsuit was filed for $1.45 million.


$1.25 Million- Verdict (Pensacola, Florida) – Negligent Security/Wrongful Death

November 4, 2014 – The Haggard Law Firm won a $1.25 million verdict for the parents of a teenage shooting victim at the Sunrise Apartments complex in Pensacola, Florida. Terrance Edwards, 19, was in a drunken rage and shot Deovon Pugh to death at close range while Mr. Pugh was visiting with friends at the complex. Edwards wrongly thought Deovon or one of his friends had stolen the family car, and after shooting him in the face with a shotgun, identified himself and walked away. Edwards was later arrested and charged with murder. He is currently serving life in prison.


$1.5 million

John Doe was shot and suffered permanent injury at the XY2 Apartment complex. The XY2 apartment complex had an astounding history of prior violent and drug crime including multiple murders, and an abduction rape. Mr. Doe and his son were spending the weekend on the property at the home of Mr. Doe’s girlfriend. Mr. Doe was at a get together on the property watching an NBA playoff game. After the game he walked outside to return to his girlfriend’s apartment when he was attacked and shot. Mr. Doe suffered fifteen entry and exit wounds, and a host of injuries which left him with significant mobility issues, and limited use of his arm. This matter was settled prior to trial.

 **Prospective clients may not obtain similar results. Amounts stated within this website are before deductions for fees, cost of attorneys and third party providers such as medical providers.**