The victim of a brutal rape at a Boston parking garage was awarded nearly $7, after a jury found the parking garage owner negligent for failing to warn and protect her from a rapist that had attacked another woman in the same garage less than two weeks prior.
Kira Wahlstrom was attacked back in 2009. “It means the world. It really does,” she told 5 Investigates’ Karen Anderson. “I had justice.”
The Suffolk County jury awarded Wahlstrom $4 million, which with interest, increased the award to more than $6.6 million. The verdict was decided after jury members found JPA, the former owners and managers of the Boston parking garage next to the Radisson hotel, were negligent.
“It could have been prevented,” Wahlstrom said to 5 Investigates. “It never had to happen.”
The jury did clear the garage, currently LAZ Parking, of any negligence. LAZ Parking was contracted to assist with management of the garage. The rapist, Jose Ruben Rivera III, pleaded guilty to both assaults.
Wahlstrom and her attorney, Don Keenan, hope this the case sheds more light on security issues and will increase security in Boston parking garages. They have already contacted the mayor’s office and Boston City Council to address the issue.
“We need to have better parking garage security, whether it be cameras or one person on every floor. They need to do something so that people are safe when they go there,” Wahlstrom said.
Building managers and owners are responsible for taking proper measures to ensure the safety of those visiting their property. Additionally, property owners have a duty to make sure that they are taking precautions to prevent criminal acts from occurring. As with Ms. Wahlstrom’s case, when a sexual assault, rape, assault and battery, robbery or any other crime occurs on someone else’s property because of the owner’s negligence, the victim may be entitled to financial compensation.
Negligence, which could lead to these crimes could take the form of: failing to fix a broken door, a lock or window, failing to provide sufficient security (such as a lack of security guards or alarm system), failure to keep public or common areas adequately lit, and failing to address and fix the conditions that led to previous attacks.
Property owners have are required to do their due diligence in order to prevent crimes for occurring on their properties. Neglecting to fulfill these duties can ultimately lead to an inadequate security lawsuit.
Properties owners should:
- Install or properly maintain surveillance cameras
- Employ security guards
- Provide proper lighting
- Secure entrances and exits
- Provide proper locks on doors or windows
- Fix all problems that caused any previous attacks
- Warn about dangerous tenants
Attacks and injuries caused by a lack of security can cause longlasting physical and emotional pain. At the law offices of Altman & Altman, LLP, we understand the hardships faced by victims of inadequate security incidents. Our team of Massachusetts Premises Liability Lawyers has the knowledge and experience to help you navigate through these difficult waters and we promise to ensure that you obtain the financial relief that you are entitled to. If you or a loved one was recently injured because of inadequate security or unsafe premises, call our office today. All initial consultations are completely free and confidential.
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