Daniel J. Hansen and Douglas Milch Win $900,000 after Landlord’s Inaction Allowed the Fatal Beating of Gene Hop
On May 30,2004, Gene Hop (age 57) was assaulted and robbed near the entrance to his apartment building on 550 Ocean Ave in Brooklyn. He sustained a severe injury to his head and was transported to Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn. There he underwent a craniectomy and two ventriculostomies before slipping into a coma. Tragically, Mr. Hop passed away just 5-days later. He was survived by his wife and four children.
His widow and son filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the premises’ owner, 550 Ocean Ave LLC and the premises’ manager, Philip and Jack Hirth Real Estate Co. The lawsuit alleged that the defendants were negligent in their maintenance of the premises and that this negligence created a dangerous condition that allowed the assault and robbery to occur.
The property in question was secured by a gate and lock. Yet, Mr. Hop’s body was found several feet inside the gate. Daniel J. Hansen and Douglas Milch claimed that the gate’s lock was frequently inoperative and had been broken prior to the incident. They also claimed that the defendants knew of the broken lock, yet had not repaired it. This directly resulted in the parties reaching a pretrial settlement. Mr. Hop’s wife and children were awarded $900,000 to help pay for damages, as well as pain and suffering.