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$10M Verdict for Family of Woman Slain by Neighbor in Edgewater Apartment

A Cook County jury has awarded a $10 million verdict to a family whose 21-year-old daughter was killed by another tenant. The victim, Melissa Dorner, was raped, beat and strangled to death by her neighbor Roberto Ramirez in January 2005. The jury assessed 90 percent liability to Ramirez and 10 percent to the management company of the property, Wilmette Real Estate and Management Co., for not following its own policies and procedures in screening prospective tenants. Ramirez gave a false social security number on his rental application, which should have ruled him out as a renter. Attorneys for the family argued Ramirez assaulted another woman in the building just two months before the slaying and though the on-site manager was alerted, there was never any follow up. Ramirez fled to Mexico but authorities extradited him, and he later pleaded guilty. The family is happy the management company’s name is now public, and they hope that the case highlights the need for renters to be very careful in choosing an apartment.

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Posted Under: Tenant Screening

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