The Haggard Law Firm’s Michael Haggard and Adam Finkel obtained a $4.55 Million settlement in a wrongful death negligent security case involving the murder of a father of three.

Attorney Adam Finkel Photo
Trial lawyer Adam Finkel
Attorney Michael Haggard Photo
Managing Partner Michael Haggard

On October 10, 2020, Trabis Ward, a former Dillard High School and Tennessee State University football standout, was shot and killed at a shopping plaza in Lauderdale Lakes. The Haggard Law Firm filed suit on behalf of his three surviving children.

The shopping plaza, owned by American Federated Title Corp., and managed by Fitzgerald Group, LLC, was known for one tenant: J&L Liquors (Aquanysa 1, LLC). While J&L Liquors is supposed to be just a retail liquor store, everyone in the area knew that the liquor store and plaza effectively operated as late night bar, with people buying alcohol and partying in the parking lot at night. Around midnight on October 10th, after stopping at this plaza, an unknown person shot and killed Ward in the parking lot. The shooter has not been arrested.

The lawsuit was filed against the property owner, management company, and liquor store. 

“The Defendants knew about the weekend loitering and the unlicensed, uncontrolled partying fostered a culture of lawlessness that allowed for the shooting.”

Adam Finkel, Trial Lawyer, The Haggard Law Firm

The Defendants maintained that the loitering did not cause the shooting and argued that Ward was shot by someone they believed had an ongoing “beef” with him. The Defendants identified the person and even collected social media posts to try and support their point. The Haggard Law Firm contested the veracity of this defense theory and reminded that such would never be admissible at trial.

Despite maintaining that this was a “targeted” crime, J&L Liquors tendered their insurance policy limits of $1,000,000.00 and American Federated Title Corp. and Fitzgerald Group, LLC jointly settled for $3,550,000.00.

Ward had two sons and one daughter.

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