Negligent Security Seminar | March 2015

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$1,510,000 Verdict – Inadequate Security Case: Robbery Shooting (Aventura, FL)

Tim Jeffery was working near the Aventura Mall in North Miami-Dade county when he heard an elderly woman scream.  He watched as a man grabbed her purse and ran into a waiting truck.  He chased the truck on foot and knocked on the darkly-tinted window, demanding a return of the woman’s purse.  Instead of the purse being returned, he was shot by the robber in the chest, nearly causing his death.  Fortunately this heroic man survived and made an excellent recovery.  He was left with some scarring and discomfort in his arm.

John Elliott Leighton represented Tim and his wife, and tried the case to a Miami jury.  He demonstrated at trial that the security on the property and in the parking lot was lacking and there had been prior complaints of crime in the area where this took place.  In fact, one witness called to trial was the president of a nearby condominium association whose sister in law had been mugged in the same area.  He had sent a letter warning the property about the danger and asking whether they were going to wait until someone was killed.  The jury awarded Tim $1,510,000. This is the first known application of the “rescue doctrine” in an inadequate security case in the United States. In a rescue doctrine case, the duty that is owed to the initial victim is transferred to the person who has taken it upon themselves to rescue that person.  So even though Tim Jeffery was not the intended victim, the jury found that it was reasonable for him tocome to the rescue of the woman being mugged.  Prior to trial a settlement was obtained from the landlord. Jeffery v. Publix Supermarkets.

Mr. Leighton’s success in this trial was recognized by being the featured case in an entire chapter of the book Persuasive Jury Communication: Case Studies From Successful Trials, Chapter 10: “Persuasion in a Premises Security Case” (Shephards/McGraw Hill, 1995).

Jeffery case articles.pdf

Disclaimer: The information about past verdicts and settlements of the firm’s cases are based on the unique facts of each case. These amounts reflect the gross recovery in each case (before attorneys fees, expenses and medical costs are deducted). Although these results were obtained by our firm, they may not indicate the success or value of any other case. By clicking on Verdicts and Settlements you are acknowledging that each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. The information contained here has not been reviewed or approved by The Florida Bar.

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