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Mother Files Lawsuit After 3-Year-Old Killed By Stray Bullet


This one is going to make you angry. A mother has filed a lawsuit against her apartment complex after her three-year-old son was struck and killed by a stray bullet. The mother had warned the apartment complex owners of numerous acts of violence near the building. She asked the apartment complex to allow her to pull out of her lease or move her to a different property. The apartment complex refused and her three-year-old son was shot. She has since filed a wrongful death lawsuit on the grounds of negligent security.

Now, you may be wondering if the landlord has a duty of care to allow a tenant out of a lease on the basis of security concerns. The answer is no, they do not. However, they do have a duty of care to ensure that the premises are safe. This means taking active measures such as policing the grounds, adding lighting, and providing functioning locks in the building.


Three weeks after the plaintiff moved into the building, a fight broke out and guns were drawn resulting in police intervention. After that incident, the mother asked the property owners to be moved or allowed out of her lease. A month later, a gunfight broke out. The mother and her child hid in a closet on the property until the issue settled down. The tenant reported the incident but was told if she broke the lease, she would be reported to the credit bureau. A month later, there were two more shooting incidents. A third request to terminate the lease or be moved was denied. Later that day, the woman’s son was murdered. The defendants, for obvious reasons, are not responding to requests for comment.

Analyzing the allegations 

If this gets tied up in the legal minutia, that could go against the plaintiff. The landlord is under no legal compulsion to move a tenant from one apartment to another or allow them out of a lease. The woman could have broken the lease anyway and then fought the adversarial action, but in most cases, those actions go against tenants who are expected to allow the courts to decide the matter before they unilaterally decide it for themselves. So, if the landlord does not have a legal duty to allow the tenant out of the lease, does the tenant still have a case?

Yes. The tenant could argue that the landlord had other remedies at their disposal even if they were averse to allowing the tenant out of her lease. This includes improving security and hiring security. In fact, the landlord does have a duty of care to provide reasonable security to tenants who are otherwise in danger. In this case, the landlord did not, so regardless of whether or not the law requires them to furnish the tenant’s request, the law does require them to do something.

Talk to a Miami Negligent Security Lawyer Today 

Payer Law files lawsuits against property owners who fail to consider the safety of their guests. Call our Miami personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and we can discuss your lawsuit in greater detail.


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