Beasley Allen’s Donovan Potter, Sr., filed a lawsuit on behalf of a young mother and former tenant of Plantation Apartments who was sexually assaulted by a maintenance worker employed by the apartment complex. The apartment complex is located in Richmond Hill, Georgia, near Savannah and is managed by co-defendant Hallmark Management, Inc. (HMI). The plaintiff, who has chosen to remain unnamed due to the nature of the claims, alleges the defendants failed to keep the premises safe and negligently hired, trained and supervised the employee who attacked her.
“Our client trusted that those charged with managing her apartment complex would keep the surroundings safe and prevent employees from abusing their ability to enter her apartment without permission and sexually assault their tenant,” said Potter, Sr. “The defendants failed our client and, as a result, she was forced to suffer the physical pain of an assault, an invasive examination and to endure ongoing emotional trauma that changed her life and the lives of her loved ones forever.”
One morning in November 2018, Alan Porter, a maintenance employee, entered the plaintiff’s apartment under the pretext of conducting maintenance work. The plaintiff had not requested any maintenance and told Porter to leave. The complaint says that instead, Porter refused and “falsely imprisoned and restrained Plaintiff and then proceeded to sexually assault her.”
The lawsuit explains that the defendants owed a duty to the young mother and all other apartment tenants to properly ensure their safety, maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition and warn them of dangers such as Porter’s unsafe behavior. Yet, they failed in each of those responsibilities.
The complaint alleges that the defendants negligently hired Porter and also failed to adequately train, monitor, instruct, supervise and “negligently retained Porter.” Further, the defendants “failed to ensure that there were procedural safeguards, policies, rules and/or guidelines in place for their employees to follow to prevent incidents such as the subject incident from happening.” Without these safety measures in place, the defendants specifically failed to train and supervise Porter to ensure that he complied with the safety measures. Finally, the complaint explains that “the [d]efendants’ conduct was negligent, reckless and/or intentional, was extreme and outrageous and was a cause…of Plaintiff’s injuries and damages.”
“Our client knows that we cannot go back and magically change what happened to her. However, she is seeking justice as well as accountability. She hopes that this lawsuit will serve as a reminder to the defendants and other apartment complex owners that they will be held responsible for failing to protect their tenants.”
The case was filed in the State Court for Cobb County, Georgia, case number 20-A-3290.