Could the shooting death of Robert Kirkland, 27, at the Smith & Porter Apartments leave the apartment owners to exposed to a civil lawsuit?
A family is in mourning after the shooting at the Smith & Porter Apartment complex in downtown Atlanta. The Atlanta Police Department deployed to the apartment after reports of a shooting. They arrived to find the victim, 27-year-old Robert Kirkland deceased from a gunshot wound.
Police investigators are asking for anyone with information about this homicide to contact them.
Georgia law requires property owners to help prevent crime on their land. They must maintain security measures like cameras, fences, and lighting. Owners must also address any illegal activity that could endanger safety. If owners fail to take these precautions, they may be liable for on-site crimes.
To mitigate crime, owners have several options. Installing security cameras can deter criminals and aid investigations. Fences act as physical barriers against trespassers, providing added security. Effective lighting makes covert criminal activity difficult. In high-crime areas, hiring security guards for patrols is prudent. By proactively implementing such measures, owners ensure residents' and guests' well-being.
Online reviews indicate unsafe living situations for residents. “It’s been an absolute nightmare since moving in just a few months ago. Excess amount of parties thrown, unruly Airbnb guest, overflowing garbage, broken gates, and animal waste has turned this place into a dump,” writes one resident.
“The property doesn’t care or make any effort regarding to the safety of tenants and the greater apartment community. My rental car was stolen outside my window on Peters St. and last month my car was broken into, INSIDE the parking lot.” says a similar review.
Another resident writes, “The parking gate, has been broken for months, exposing all of our cars and units to God knows who. There are multiple break-ins at least a couple times a month in and outside of the property.”
People who own apartments in Georgia must take reasonable actions to keep them safe from criminals. Some housing complexes may create worse situations if they do not inform others about unwanted events happening nearby.
Police can apprehend criminals and prosecute them, but they cannot compel property owners to make their properties safer or compensate families who have been harmed. Only those who have been injured or their families have the right to sue the property owners in court. This money might be used to cover medical expenses or lost wages as a result of their inability to work. Even while this money is helpful, it cannot alleviate the pain caused by the tragic event.
It’s important to note that significant financial compensation to victims may prompt property owners and managers to implement safety measures to prevent future criminal activity on their property.
Together we can Make Atlanta Safe, one community at a time.
Only the survivors of violent crimes or the families of victims can use the civil court system to hold property owners and managers accountable when they fail to take reasonable precautions to protect tenants and guests from known threats. By holding them accountable, we can motivate property owners to make meaningful changes to prevent violent crime from happening to others. In that way, together, we can help Make Atlanta Safe.
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