In the Headlines
Dallas - On February 13, 2006 - Price Johnson secured a $4.85 million jury verdict in a negligent hiring / negligent retention case involving the sexual assault of a four-year old girl by the maintenance man of an Arlington, Texas apartment complex. The Tarrant County jury hoped to send a message to North Texas apartment complex owners and managers that tenants' safety is paramount. Mr. Johnson represented a young girl, now 8 years old. On October 30, 2001, the then 4 year old child was sexually assaulted by a maintenance man employed at L'Atriums on the Creek Apartments through Sierra Management. The employee was in uniform and on duty at the time of the assault.
L'Atriums hired Sierra as the management company for apartment complexes it owned. Sierra hired David Lowder. Mr. Johnson uncovered evidence that showed Lowder had a previous criminal history for theft that included drug related offenses and resisting detention.
Prior to hiring David Lowder, Sierra had hired another employee with a criminal background that later raped a young woman on L'Atriums property while he was on duty and in uniform. L'Atriums was aware of the prior incident and Sierra's conduct prior to Sierra's hiring David Lowder but L'Atriums retained Sierra to manage the property.
Sierra then hired David Lowder. Mr. Lowder was on duty and in uniform performing maintenance work inside the apartment in which the Plaintiff, a four-year-old girl, lived. While working in the apartment at the direction of Sierra, Mr. Lowder sexually assaulted the Plaintiff, by inserting his finger into her vagina and moving it around. Thereafter, the Plaintiff demonstrated all applicable symptoms related to post-traumatic stress disorder and sexual assault.
The apartments where the sexual assault occurred were located in Arlington, Texas.
Plaintiff sued Sierra asserting causes of action for negligent hiring, retention, and supervision of David Lowder. Plaintiff sued L'Atriums asserting causes of action for negligent retention and supervision of Sierra to continue to manage the Property.
The Defendants in the case had offered only $20,000 before the trial and $85,000 during the trial.
August 2006 Dallas County Verdict against Yellow Cab
Price Johnson of The Johnson Firm obtained a $119,000 verdict for the driver of an airport shuttle injured in a rear-end collision while stopped to unload passengers at one of the DFW Terminals. The Plaintiff had just come to a stop and was standing from his seat when a taxi cab operated by Yellow Cab pulled away from the curb and clipped the shuttle from behind causing the shuttle driver to twist his back.
January 2007 Dallas County Verdict against Allstate Insured
Allstate Insurance, up to its usual tricks, refused to offer a fair settlement to a family of three injured in a side-swipe collision near Stonebriar Mall. The Defendant admitted fault and wanted her insurance company to own up to her mistake and pay the Plaintiffs claim. Allstate, following its well publicized pattern of DENY, DELAY, AND DEFEND, forced the Plaintiffs to sue the Defendant (in Texas, a plaintiff cannot sue an insurance company directly but must sue the insured driver). Even in the face of an honest defendant that admitted the accident was her fault, Allstate refused to settle the claim offering only to pay part of the Plaintiffs medical expenses and none of their other losses. It took a Dallas jury of 12 less than one hour to reach a unanimous verdict holding the Defendant liable for just over 7 times Plaintiffs medical expenses, or $51,000 to cover all the losses Plaintiffs suffered.