Miami, FL – The Haggard Law Firm’s Michael Haggard and Adam Finkel have obtained a $5 Million pre-suit settlement in a negligent security case involving the catastrophic injury suffered by a father of four who was with his children when he was shot outside his home.

On December 20, 2019, 33-year old Paul Barry-Austin returned home from a long day of work. It was a nice day so his wife was enjoying the weather outside with their children. The day drastically turned when she noticed a few unknown men roaming the Alhambra Cove Apartment complex’s parking lot. She noticed the men more than once, roaming suspiciously, and expressed concern to Paul. Worried for the safety of his family and aware that the property owners and managers did nothing to prevent or curtail the many burglaries, car thefts, and assaults on the property, Paul walked through the parking lot to make sure the men were not near his home. Soon after, Paul’s wife heard gunshots, and Paul was found lying in the parking lot in a puddle of blood. He had been shot in the back—likely by the very criminals that roamed the property.

Mr. Barry-Austin with two of his children.

Despite a staggering history of crime on the property, Cornerstone Development Corp. (the property owner) blamed Mr. Barry-Austin for what happened, highlighting that Paul chased the men down with a machete, instead of retreating into his home and calling police. But as The Haggard Law Firm argued, regardless of Paul’s actions, there was no excuse for Cornerstone’s failure to have security guards effectively patrolling the property, and that the front gates were broken and locked in the open position. Even further, while Cornerstone protected its own property by installing surveillance cameras at the clubhouse and their own maintenance house, they did not bother to install cameras near the residences.

Attorney Michael Haggard Photo
Managing Partner Michael Haggard

“For years, Cornerstone knew, or should have known that the Alhambra Cove Apartments was a target for burglaries and violent crime, but chose to nothing to protect its residents” says Haggard.

Finkel added, “because Cornerstone failed to uphold its legal duty to provide adequate security to protect from reasonably foreseeable criminal attacks, its residents were left vulnerable and fending for themselves.”

Ultimately, Paul was shot and rendered a paraplegic. He will never throw his children in the air again, run with his young son, or walk side-by-side with his daughters on their wedding day. He will forever be confined to a wheelchair.

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