On a bright December day, Quinton Hamill’s life ended. He was gunned down while visiting with friends at a pick-up football being held at the courtyard of LaAtrio Apartments. At the recommendation of a local attorney, Quinton’s mother Alexandra came to Panter, Panter & Sampedro for help with finding the party responsible for her son’s death and in seeking appropriate compensation for her loss. [i] Brett Panter and Josh Wintle, of Panter, Panter & Sampedro, handled Quinton’s case.
Through the efforts of our firm and our security experts, Panter, Panter & Sampedro was able to show that LaAtrio Apartments had a history of violent criminal incidents upon and around its grounds. Our investigation uncovered numerous reports of criminal activity ranging from drug use and petty theft to murder upon LaAtrio’s premises over the years preceding Quinton’s death. Based on that evidence, Panter, Panter & Sampedro was able to prove that LaAtrio had notice of the danger posed by criminal elements in and around its community. Under the law, LaAtrio had a responsibility to take action to provide security for its guests and residents.
On that bright December day that led to the darkest nights of Alexandra Hamill’s life, LaAtrio’s failure to provide reasonable security for its residents and guests cost Quinton his life and cost Alexandra her son. LaAtrio had no security guards. It had a gate that was never closed. And while there was a security shack at the entrance to LaAtrio, there was never anyone manning that post. Residents, guests, and local criminals all knew that they could come and go as they pleased.
Suspected criminals also knew that the perimeter fence surrounding LaAtrio was riddled with holes that could be used to evade law enforcement if need be. Local police testified that when they responded to LaAtrio for criminal activity, they had to send officers to the various locations of the holes in the fence to try to catch fleeing suspects.
LaAtrio had a single security camera on its property. According to management, no one monitored that camera outside of management office’s 9-to-5 business hours. LaAtrio failed to provide security or supervision when it was needed most. Residents, afraid for their safety, complained to LaAtrio’s management about the lack of safety and security. In correspondence with federal housing authorities, LaAtrio recognized the need for security, but decided not to pay for additional security measures. Unfortunately, LaAtrio’s efforts to save money cost Quinton the ultimate price.
Quinton Hamill was student-athlete with an entrepreneurial spirit. He was attending college in the Carolinas, following his goal of playing football at the professional level. When he was not engaged in football or schoolwork, Quinton was working on one of his many side projects, one of which was his own line of barbeque sauces. Quinton was building a life for himself.
Quinton’s life is lost. His dreams extinguished. There is no amount of money that can right the wrong suffered by Alexandra Hamill. Nothing can bring back her son. Nothing can be done to turn back the clock. However, the confidential settlement reached on behalf of Alexandra and Quinton’s Estate will help Alexandra provide security and a better life for her family including Quinton’s little brother.
[i] The names of all parties have been changed to protect their confidentiality.