The owner of an apartment complex for seniors owed a duty of care to residents who resided there, according to a new ruling by the Nebraska Supreme Court. Whether it breached that duty by failing to perform a criminal background check and evicting the son of another resident who was living their against complex rules is a question for the jury.
In Peterson v. Kings Gate Partners, the negligence lawsuit arises from an assault allegedly perpetrated against plaintiff by the son of plaintiff’s neighbor. Plaintiff alleges neither he nor other residents were informed of this person’s violent criminal history, and asserts this failure by the complex – whose managers knew of this person’s presence – resulted in a failure to provide safe premises for those who lived there.
According to court records, plaintiff lived across the hall from his assailant, who lived with his mother in her apartment which was leased in her name. The property was restricted to residents 55-and-older, and as such, the assailant’s presence as a resident was a violation of the property rules.