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Landlord sued for negligence in gang shooting

Did property owner have a duty to protect tenant from violence?

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Ernest Castaneda, 17, was injured at about 2 a.m. at a mobile-home park where he resided with his grandmother and sister. While standing on the steps of the mobile home, he was hit by a gunshot fired by a neighbor who was a known member of a local gang. Castaneda sued the owners of the park, George and Paule Olsher, for his injury damages based on their alleged negligence. Through his attorney, Castaneda showed that the owners knew there were gang members and drug dealers residing in the park -- there had been previous shooting incidents but without injuries, and many of the streetlights in the park were inoperable. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. The park manager testified at the trial that she had witnessed several drug deals in the park and one family in the park was under Drug Enforcement Agency surveillance. She also stated when she confronted co-owner George Olsher about renting to known gang members, he said, "Go ahead and rent to them. Their money is as good as yours." If y...