A woman who survived a violent sexual assault inside a downtown Mobile, Alabama, parking garage has filed a negligent security lawsuit against the building’s operators and other parties, alleging they allowed a man with a long criminal history to use the garage for shelter.
The plaintiff was exiting her vehicle inside the Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) parking garage on the morning of June 5, 2018, as she was headed to work. Douglas Dunson, a 43-year-old homeless man, approached the woman and asked her for money.
According to Mobile’s FOX 10 TV, the woman refused to give Dunson money and walked away from him. Dunson then struck the woman with a 2×2 board and dragged her between some parked vehicles where he continued to strike her until she was nearly unconscious.
A detective with the Mobile Police Department’s adult sex crimes unit testified that the assailant tried to undress, kiss, and penetrate the woman as she struggled to stop him, according to FOX 10. Another man in the parking garage heard the woman scream for help and rushed to her assistance. Dunson then fled the building and the woman gathered her belongings and ran into the RSA building.
Officials say the woman suffered a broken wrist, several broken ribs, deep lacerations on the scalp, a bite on her shoulder, and bruises on her body.
In addition to RSA, the woman’s negligent security lawsuit names PCH Resorts and Hotels and Dynamic Security as defendants, among others.
According to WKRG News 5 Mobile, the lawsuit alleges the defendants knew before the attack that Dunson was using the garage for shelter and had reason to believe that he posed a danger to people using the garage. Dunson has a long history of criminal arrests, including for sexual assault, WKRG reported.
Additionally, the complaint alleges that Dynamic Security, the company contracted to provide security for the building, fraudulently billed RSA for security guard hours when none of its guards were on duty or anywhere on RSA’s premises.
Beasley Allen lawyers handle cases involving issues of premises liability and negligent security. Premises liability is the responsibility a land or property owner has for accidents, injury or other incidents that occur on his real property. Negligent security cases normally take the form of shootings, fights, stabbings, or other physical violence (including sexual assault) where severe injury or death occurs due to the establishment owner’s failure to take reasonable safety measures. When this occurs, the establishment owner, as well as those contractors charged with security, may be held responsible for the injuries suffered by individuals or groups of individuals on the premises. For more information about these types of cases, contact Parker Miller, a lawyer in our Atlanta office.