Young Woman Raped as She Entered The Hallway of Her St. LOUIS Apartment Complex
A young woman returning from studying at a local coffee shop parked in front of her apartment building and, as she unlocked the exterior door to her building, was forced inside by an unknown attacker. He brutally raped her in the apartment foyer. The apartment management’s attempts at “warning” the other tenants of the attack was shameful-placing a note under each person’s door stating that someone had been “loitering” around the property (failing to mention the “loiterer” had also “committed a rape”). Upon cross examination, the apartment manager testified she originally wrote in the letter that someone was raped, but said the home office had made her remove any reference to the rape from the letter. The management even lied to tenants who had asked about the “loiterer” after receiving the letter – telling the tenants the “loiterer” was caught. The rapist was never caught. Our firm sued the complex and management company alleging inadequate security and failure to warn our client of prior incidents at the complex. Defendants paid our client a substantial amount during mediation.
Two Men Shot by Security Guards at an All-Night IHOP Restaurant in KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
An attorney asked our firm to help litigate a case against IHOP and a security guard firm because of our experience handling similar cases. Investigating the case, we learned that our two clients had gone to the IHOP with 12 other friends after a long night out at bars and night clubs. At the end of the meal, one of the men began to argue with his girlfriend. The guards intervened and shoving began. The incident spilled out into the IHOP parking lot where several guns were drawn by the guards and at least two men within our clients’ group. Shooting began, and over 30 rounds were fired on the lot. Our two clients, their friend and a guard were shot and were all in serious condition. The guards testified that our clients’ friends pulled guns first and shot the guard before they shot back. Our firm tracked down witnesses all across the country who testified it was in fact the guards who fired first and that our clients’ friends fired in self-defense. Witnesses described one guard shooting our client point blank in the chest while his hands were in the “surrender” position. We traveled to several states to interview and depose these witnesses on videotape. The security guard company paid our clients the limits of their significant insurance policy and IHOP agreed to pay our clients shortly before trial.
Customer of Gas Station/Convenience Store Stabbed in the Face by an Intruder
A young man stopped a local service station and convenience store to buy some snacks and wait for his ride. As he was standing outside the building, another man approached him with a knife demanding money. Before the customer could hand over his wallet, the assailant stabbed him in the face. The medical bills soared to more than $100,000 for multiple surgeries and hospitalizations. His face is permanently disfigured. The service station was the scene of many previous violent crimes, including trafficking in machine guns, hand grenades and other weapons. The owners had been cited by the City of St. Louis for a continuing nuisance and were under orders to clean up the security or face being closed down by the city government.
Middle School Girl Gang Raped at Skating Rink by 3 Men Who Were Too Old to be Admitted to the Dance Party
The plaintiff, a 13 year old girl, was dragged into a vacant and unlocked storage room at a skating rink where middle school dance was taking place. Two minor boys and one adult repeatedly raped the girl while another served as lookout. The management tried to prove the girl submitted willingly or that the incident did not happen at all. Through aggressive investigation we learned that a video camera was aimed directly at the door to the storage room during the entire building. The General Manager viewed the videotape the day after the rape and then recorded over it without even telling the police. Our investigation also discovered that a hand written report by the manager on duty was destroyed and replaced with a fake self-serving report on which the General Manager forged the signature of the on-duty manager. The girl continues to suffer emotionally and is currently in therapy.
Woman Kidnapped From Her KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI Apartment Parking Lot and Forced to Open The Apartment Door So The Intruders Could Rob and Murder Her Fiancee
A young mother had just strapped her infant daughter into the car seat to drop the child off at day care before going to work when she was accosted by several armed men. The men forced her to unlock the door to her apartment where her fiancee was still sleeping. The baby was left unattended in the car. When they gained entry to the apartment, the men went to the bedroom and murdered her fiancee after the man could not give them money or valuables. They then fled and were never apprehended. This apartment complex had been the scene of dozens of prior assaults, breakins and carjackings. There were no guards anywhere on the large complex grounds and there had been no effort to improve security.
Six Learning Disabled Elementary School Children Molested by Remedial Reading Teacher in The Classroom
These six little girls were molested by their special school teacher in the classroom. The teacher had worked for the St. Louis Board of Education for over 20 years and there had been numerous complaints from other children in at least three previous schools. Suit was filed in the United States District Court, seeking damages for the students for violations of their civil rights. The court dismissed the case on the technicality that there could be no proof of actual notice to the Board of Education itself. The teacher was sentenced to sixteen years in prison. Although the United States Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal by the lower courts, they issued the following proclamation, clearly telling school boards across the country: “The magnitude of the tragedy underlying this litigation compels us to sound a final cautionary note to the Board and other similarly situated public agencies. In the future, this court will closely scrutinize bureaucratic hierarchies which, in their operation, tend to insulate its policymaking officials from knowledge of events which may subject them to Sec. 1983 liability. This case, in conjunction with Jane Doe “A”, compels us to provide clear warning to the Board that in the future a defense of no liability due to lack of knowledge may no longer apply to a bureaucracy which continues to block notice to the Board of allegations of sexual abuse of students committed by teachers and others during school related activities.”
Elementary School Student Sexually Assaulted by Her School Bus Driver
A notorious child molester was hired to drive a school bus for St. Louis children, even though he had a suspended drivers license and was on parole from the State of Georgia. After the molestation of the little girl on school premises, police were called and he was arrested and sentenced to a long prison sentence. As a result of the child’s lawsuit, a Presidential Commission issued a nationwide recommendation that all school bus drivers undergo detailed background checks prior to hiring.
Special Olympics Athlete Sodomized by CATHOLIC CHURCH Volunteer Coach in Motel on Field Trip
This young boy was in a Catholic group home for special needs children and was training to compete in the Special Olympics. The Monsignor in charge urged the boy’s parents to allow a volunteer coach to take him on a field trip and to stay in a motel during the trip. The Monsignor assured the parent that the volunteer was a trustworthy and dedicated man. The volunteer coach sodomized the boy repeatedly and threatened him with violence if he told his family. In fact, the coach taped a photo of the boy’s family to a pumpkin and then chopped the pumpkin with a knife, telling the boy that this is what would happen to his family if he told anyone what had taken place. The boy told his mother and the police were called. The volunteer coach received a lengthy prison sentence. The assailant had been fired from his prior job as a jail guard for trading drugs for sex with prisoners and there was additional evidence of his sexual and violent tendencies that would have easily been exposed had the church performed even the most cursory background check. The church paid a substantial settlement to the boy, the amount of which is confidential upon court order.
Motel Guest Attacked in Her Room by Former Maintenance Man Who Had Access to Passkeys
A young woman was asleep in a large chain motel in Oklahoma when she sensed someone was present in her room. She rose up just in time to feel the man pounce on her and threaten her with a knife. When she resisted, she was cut but the man finally fled without raping her. When she got up to call the police, she found all her clothing piled in the corner of the room. The man had urinated on her clothing. Our investigation showed that the desk clerk on duty that night had told management that the passkey system was not safe and that management had refused to make any changes. It was also discovered that a former maintenance man matching the description of the attacker had access to the keys, although no charges were ever brought against him. The motel representatives said they did not know the whereabouts of the desk clerk and the breaking point in the case was when the clerk was located, still working in another of their chain motels in California. He was a cooperative witness and testified in trial. The victim’s psychiatrist had moved to New York and we took her deposition in her Manhattan office for trial. In all more than 20 depositions were taken in at least 5 states, making this one of the most difficult cases to prepare for trial. The jury verdict was one of the highest in the United States at that time for such a case.
Filling Station Customer Using the Pay Phone on the Parking Lot Shot by a Stray Bullet During a Gang Fight
Our client was just pulling up to the pay phone on a national chain filling station when gunfire broke out between two rival gangs. A stray bullet went through the back of his car and lodged in his spine rendering him a paraplegic for life. The parking lot had been a gathering place for loitering gang members for many months yet the owners and managers refused to do anything to improve the security. Other service stations in the area had security guards and, as a result, they had little problems with violent incidents. A confidential settlement was reached shortly before trial.
Two Customers Beaten on Convenience Store/Gas Station Parking Lot by Gang Members
Two young men stopped to buy cigarettes after a concert. After they got into their car, the windows were broken out by robbers who then dragged both men out of the car and beat them severely with fists and clubs. Because Taylor & Taylor had just obtained a large settlement against the owners and managers of the same facility, this case was settled within months of filing suit.