Apartment tenant/maintenance man is attacked by a regular visitor to the complex. Defense. Los Angeles County.
Plaintiff is attacked, suffers head injury, while he takes out his trash at night. He says management company is partly to blame.
- Case Name: Guillermo Frayre v. Park Sycamore, LP
- Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / BC683148
- Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, February 20, 2020
- Date Action was Filed: Monday, November 13, 2017
- Type of Action: Negligence
- Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Stephen Moloney
Plaintiffs: Guillermo Frayre
Defendants: Park Sycamore, LP
- Type of Result: Jury Verdict
- Gross Verdict or Award: Defense verdict.
- Net Verdict or Award: $0
Award as to each Defendant:
- Trial or Arbitration Time: 14 days.
- Jury Deliberation Time: 1 day.
- Jury Polls: 11-1
Attorney for the Plaintiff:
The Dominguez Firm by Olivier Taillieu and Jennifer Bagosy, Los Angeles.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Meyers Fozi & Dwork, LLP by Golnar Fozi and Jeremy Dwork, Carlsbad.
Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):
Lawrence Miller, M.D., physiatry.
Fernando Miranda, M.D., neurology.
Lester Zackler, M.D., psychiatry.
Xavier Cagigas, Ph.D., neuropsychology.
Jan Roughan, RN, life care planning.
Steven Colquhoun, M.D., liver transplantation.
Moris Aynechi, M.D., maxillofacial surgery.
Michael Gold, M.D., neurology.
Praveen Kambam, M.D., psychiatry.
Alexander Kuo, M.D., hepatology.
Mary Jesko, life care planning.
Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):
Enrique Vega, vocational rehabilitation.
Darryl Zengler, economics.
Defendant's Technical Expert(s):
David Weiner, economics.
Facts and Background
Facts and Background:
Defendant Park Sycamore, LP operates a 59-unit, low-income apartment complex in Highland Park, Los Angeles. Plaintiff was a maintenance employee and resident of Park Sycamore apartments in Los Angeles for nearly 10 years.
On September 9, 2016, at approximately 10:00 pm, a domestic dispute inside an apartment unit resulted in law enforcement searching the complex for a homeless relative of a tenant, who had been involved in the dispute. The relative, it was later learned, had fled the scene prior to the arrival of police. At approximately 10:30 p.m., the relative suddenly emerged in the parking lot of the complex and attacked plaintiff while he was taking out his trash. Plaintiff was found by a neighbor with severe head injuries and taken by ambulance for emergency medical treatment.
Plaintiff claimed that Park Sycamore had been on notice that plaintiff's attacker was a frequent visitor to the property and had previously engaged in violent behavior, including a prior assault. Plaintiff further alleged that Park Sycamore failed to maintain its pedestrian and vehicle gates, compromising the safety of the property.
At trial, evidence was produced that while plaintiff's attacker had engaged in prior assaults, they occured off-property and were not communicated to property management. Park Sycamore further produced evidence that resident rule violations received multiple notices and remedial actions. Moreover, evidence at trial indicated Park Sycamore timely repaired any gate malfunctions and that all such gates were operational on the night of the attack.
With respect to plaintiff's damage claims, Park Sycamore presented evidence that although plaintiff suffered a brain injury, the injury was a mild traumatic brain injury (not moderate/severe) with mild neurocognitive disorder (not major). Park Sycamore further presented evidence that plaintiff did not require 24/7 supervision in an institutional environment, as alleged. Rather, Park Sycamore presented evidence that plaintiff had lived independently at home for the majority of the time between the attack and trial.
Injuries and Other Damages
Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Plaintiff alleged a moderate/severe traumatic brain injury, including hemorrhage; orbital fractures requiring surgical intervention; mandibular fractures; medically induced coma; major neurocognitive disorder; cognitive impairments of memory, executive functioning, attention/concentration; seizure disorder.
At trial, plaintiff alleged the need for 24/7 prosthetic environment/supervised care for the remainder of his life.
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $400,000
- Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $9,000,000
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: $150,000
- Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: $300,000
Demands and Offers
- Plaintiff §998 Demand: $8,000,000
- Defendant §998 Offer: $1,000,000
In closing, plaintiff asked the jury to return a verdict of $40,000,000.