Oakhurst Apartments

Wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of man gunned down at Tampa apartment complex

Lawyers from Fulgencio Law have filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Hillsborough County on behalf of the family of 20-year-old Freddy Benson, who was shot and killed on the early morning hours of August 19, 2016 while inside the Oakhurst Apartments in Tampa, Florida. The named Defendants in the lawsuit are Ashley Glen Land Holdings, LLC, doing business as Oakhurst Square Apartments I and Oakhurst Square Apartments II, and NDC Real Estate Management, Inc.  Together, they owned, operated or were responsible for the supervision, security, oversight, management and safety of the residents and general public at the Oakhurst apartment complex where the shooting took place.

“This was a tragic situation that shook the local community, adding to a long line of senseless shooting deaths that our country is becoming numb to,” said Felipe Fulgencio, one of the lawyers prosecuting the lawsuit.  “It is heartbreaking that this young man, a father, was gunned down in an act that was certainly preventable. We are bringing this lawsuit because this family deserves justice, and the people whose failures led to this tragedy must be held accountable.”

Oakhurst Square was built in the early 1970s and at the time of the shooting had roughly 200 apartments, about 40 percent of which received federal Section 8 housing subsidies, according to the Tampa Bay Times. It is believed that the drive-by shooting was in retaliation to another drive-by shooting that occurred at the apartment complex just a few days earlier.

The lawsuit seeks to hold the defendants responsible for failing to put into place the common sense, yet critical, security and safety measures necessary to ensure the safety of the guests and residents at Oakhurst Apartments.

The complaint has been filed in the Circuit Court in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, under case number 2018-CA-003434.

Lady Justice Overlooking the city

What is Negligence?

What is Negligence?

Negligence is a legal concept, a term usually employed to describe an instance when someone is seeking compensation for accidents and injuries that were caused as a result of someone else’s fault. Negligence is a type of act, or a civil wrong, and is often referred to using another legal term: a tort. In essence, negligence means conduct that is culpable because it the legal standard required of a reasonable person in protecting individuals against risk that was foreseeable and that lead to the causation of harm to others. When someone engages in negligent behavior and that behavior then is the legal cause of damages, a right to compensation is said to exist so as to make the injured person whole.

The Courts’ Decisions

In appellate court decisions throughout Florida, negligence suits have historically been analyzed in distinct stages. First, the defendant must have had a duty of care that is owed to the person bringing suit. The courts have long established that all persons have a duty to use that degree of care that an ordinarily prudent person would have used under the circumstances, so that, at trial, the existence of the “duty” is predetermined. For example, a driver on the public roadways has a duty to exercise sufficient care and to avoid following too closely, going too fast given the road conditions, and generally keeping a proper lookout.

Who Decides If There Was Negligence?

The determination of whether the behavior of a particular defendant in any given case constitutes negligence is ordinarily a unique question of fact that must be determined by a jury. Proving negligence does not, alone, support an award of damages.

What Must Be Proved?

The person bringing suit must also show that the defendant has breached that duty by not exercising reasonable care. The plaintiff must further show that the defendant’s negligence contributed to cause injury, harm, or damages to the plaintiff. The harm must not be too remote a consequence of the negligence, and the negligence must be a “proximate cause” of the harm. Finally, the claimant must be able to establish what kind of damages, or compensation, he should get for his or her harm. Negligence can arise in several instances, for example, in connection with the maintenance of premises, the driving of vehicles, the ownership of animals, the performing of a professional job, or the general commission of an act.