Shane Keith Tries Premises Liability Case in Fulton County

January 2012
Fulton County, Georgia

The case involved a young woman who was attacked, robbed, and sexually assaulted in her apartment complex.  She filed suit against the management company of the complex, alleging negligence in the operation and maintenance of the complex for allegedly allowing the perpetrator to enter the complex.

In defending the case, which had already been up to the Georgia Court of Appeals and back, Shane had to overcome numerous unfavorable evidentiary and legal rulings prior to and during trial.  He repeatedly found ways to present his client’s best case despite those rulings, including taking an evidentiary deposition one evening during the trial and tracking down a records custodian to give live testimony at trial to show that the perpetrator had spoken to someone else living at the complex moments before the assault (and, thus, had likely been invited onto the premises by a tenant, making it impossible for the management company to exclude him from the premises).

After an eight-day trial, Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury during closing argument to award $5 million to Plaintiff.  After a day of deliberation, the jury returned a significantly lower verdict of $350,000.  The lowest demand ever made in the case was $500,000.  This is one of the lowest “stranger-rape verdicts” ever handed down in the metro-Atlanta area. 

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