Meyers & Flowers Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Schaumburg Apartment Complex As A Result Of The Rape And Murder Of Tiffany Thrasher
Today, Meyers & Flowers Partners Ted Meyers, Craig Brown and Jonathan Mincieli filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the Estate of Tiffany Thrasher against Home Properties Schaumburg LLC, Estrella Drywall Inc. and Bulmaro Mejia-Maya.
Tiffany Thrasher was a beautiful 33-year-old woman who was adored by everyone who knew her. She signed her lease and moved into Unit #1201 at the Lakes of Schaumburg on March 13, 2017. She selected the Lakes of Schaumburg because Home Properties marketed the apartment complex as being a safe, bucolic place. The property management company assured her they met the Schaumburg Crime Free Apartment Ordinance, which included performing criminal background checks on all applicants and would not rent an apartment to any person with a violent criminal history.
The Village of Schaumburg enacted the Schaumburg Crime Free Apartment Ordinance in 2003, in response to a dramatic increase in violent crimes occurring in large apartment complexes in the Village. The ordinance requires landlords to maintain and improve the quality of rental housing within the community and is designed to protect their tenants from violent crimes.
On October 3, 2016, months before Tiffany moved in, Home Properties rented Unit #1307, a two-bedroom apartment, to a Florida company called Estrellas Drywall. Home Properties knew six or more transient workers lived in this apartment in violation of Village ordinances. One of the tenants included Bulmaro Mejia-Maya.
Home Properties also violated the Crime Free Apartment Ordinance because they did not:
- Include the Crime Free lease addendum to Estrellas
- They did not attach the Crime Free ordinance to the Estrellas lease
- They did not inform Estrellas that as the lessor, they would be vicariously liable for the criminal acts of the transient workers they housed
- They did not require Estrellas to provide the names of the transient workers living in Unit #1307
- They did not perform any criminal background checks on the Estrellas transient workers
A routine background check would have quickly revealed that Mejia-Maya had a history of arrests for violent crimes and a conviction for a violent offense involving a deadly weapon.
Home Properties marketed their apartment complex as safe and then proceeded to completely ignore the Schaumburg Crime Free Apartment Ordinance, therefore allowing the Florida Drywall Company to use one of their apartments as an illegal boarding house where violent criminals could live anonymously. As a result, on April 16, 2017, just 33 days after Tiffany moved into her new apartment, Mejia-Maya forced his way into her apartment and brutally attacked, raped, and murdered Tiffany.
“This preventable tragedy is yet another horrifying example of what happens when corporations are more concerned with their profits than the safety of their customers,” said Craig Brown.
According to Jonathan Mincieli, “Tiffany's family has filed this lawsuit to call attention to this problem and hopefully prevent the victimization of other innocent people.”
The case is now pending in Chicago, Illinois, and is expected to go to trial in the Spring of 2019.