$2 Million from Alarm Company and Apartment Complex for Failure to Protect Elderly Woman

Jane Public was a 78 year old retired banker living alone in a apartment complex. Out of concern for their mother's health and safety, Mrs. Public's children got her an emergency alarm to wear around her neck.

Mrs. Public was alone in her apartment when another tenant suffering from a delusional episode forced her way into Mrs. Public's apartment and viciously attacked her - biting her ears, gouging her eyes and finally stabbing her in the back with a kitchen knife.

While Mrs. Public screamed and cried out in obvious pain and anguish for over two long minutes, the emergency alert operator repeatedly asked whether Mrs. Public needed help. Then, instead of alerting police or rescue, the operator merely called Mrs. Public's son-in-law and asked if he could check on her.

The alarm company's defense was that it could not have prevented any of the injuries because the attack was already under way when they received the call. However, Pajcic & Pajcic's prompt preservation of the recording and a detailed, sequential analysis of its sounds by experts proved that the attack could have been stopped before some of the worst injuries.

In the case against the apartment complex, Pajcic & Pajcic was able to prove that the police had been called numerous times in the past because of similar violent incidents involving the attacker. In fact, Mrs. Public had herself complained about her assailant and requested a chain lock, which had been refused. Pajcic & Pajcic also effectively highlighted the lease's reference to a violence free environment and eviction of violent criminals.

While Mrs. Public had a good recovery from some of her injuries, proof of the egregiousness of the liability helped Pajcic & Pajcic to resolve the case at mediation for $2 million. Mrs. Public died a few months after the settlement, but the settlement not only enabled her to have the skilled nursing care she needed during those months, but also allowed her to leave a legacy for her children and grandchildren.

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