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Trammell Crow Central Texas, Ltd. v. Gutierrez
Texas Supreme Court
267 S.W.3d 9 (2008)
A gunman shot Luis Gutierrez four times at long range from behind as he and his wife left a mall movie theater, killing him. His family (plaintiffs) brought a premises liability action against the mall’s property manager, Trammell Crow Central Texas, Ltd. (defendant), claiming it provided inadequate security. Crimes on the property in the two previous years included 203 property-related crimes (theft or vandalism), 13 simple assaults, one weapon possession, and 10 robberies classified as violent crimes, but no murders. The property manager countered that Luis was killed in retaliation for providing police information about a series of burglaries, not during a botched robbery. Moreover, an expert testified that the mall actually had a relatively low rate of violent crime—some 36 times less likely than elsewhere in the city as a whole. The jury awarded Luis’s family over $5 million, and the appellate court affirmed, prompting a further appeal to the Supreme Court of Texas.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Willett, J.)
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