Whatt o do if I caught the maintenance worker in my apartment complex entering my apartment and stealing my prescription pain medication?

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Whatt o do if I caught the maintenance worker in my apartment complex entering my apartment and stealing my prescription pain medication?

The bottle was in his hand and he was arrested. He had a criminal record for narcotics possession and an active warrant out for his arrest. When I informed my doctor, he thought such a crazy story was drug seeking behavior and abruptly cut me off from my medication (I had my wrist surgically reassembled a few weeks prior).So since my apartment complex negligently gave this criminal unsupervised and unrestricted access to my apartment and I have both a loss of personal property and literal pain and suffering as a result, do I potentially have grounds for a lawsuit?

Asked on November 2, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the apartment complex had poor hiring practices or had specific knowledge of the employee's history or issues, you may have a claim for negligent hiring or supervision.  This would be considered a personal injury type suit.  There is quite a bit of case law on the duty of care required to be extended to a tenant-- so it's important to find an attorney who has experience in suing apartment complexes.  You do have a duty to mitigate to the extent that you can-- for mitigation you can do a couple of things.  The first is to get a copy of your offense report and take it to your current doctor to prove that your story is valid... and see if he will reconsider the prescription.  If your prescription was for hydrocodone, he was probably concerned about addiction issues.... see if he will consider an alternative, non-addictive type of pain medicine.    After seeing that your story was valid your doctor still refuses to help you, consider switching doctors.  If you try these things and you still cannot get relief, then you will have a better answer if the apartment says that you didn't do enough to mitigate or reduce your damages.

As far as the defendant, make sure that you fill out your victim impact forms with the district or county attorney's office.  They are also required to seek restitution for you.  They can also help you work to get assistance with some issues through the state attorney general's office.


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