Visitor Question

Assaulted with weapon by another renter in homeowner’s home…

Submitted By: Kevin (Framingham, MA)

I began renting a room in a friend’s (the homeowner’s) home 38 days ago. There was another renter in the home already. His behavior was bizarre and aggressive.

After the homeowner brought up the issue of this other roommate “Eating other people’s food,” I asked the roommate if he had “Eaten the box of cereal that was gone?” and he became argumentative and aggressive. There had been a prior issue with this roommate verbally abusing his girlfriend in front of housemates, and he did not like my opinion on such.

The two topics became intertwined and the roommate became angry and difficult. During the “verbal” altercation the other roommate became physically aggressive, pushing his finger into my face. I pushed the roommate’s hand from my face and he immediately picked up a weapon (A 20lb wooden stool) and smashed me over the head with it 5-6x.

I was hospitalized and treated for head wounds requiring staples, and defensive wounds to my arms. Both I and the Homeowner begged the roommate to stop. He did not. Uttering threats as he walked out of the house. The subject was subsequently arrested and charged with Assault and Battery with a Dangerous/Deadly Weapon and Domestic Assault.

It turns out the person was on Probation for a recent Domestic Assault on a Female and Assault and Battery on a Police Officer in connection to that Domestic Assault. The person was jailed for a Probation Violation and the other charges will be forthcoming in Court shortly.

They released the person on $500 bail with a Stay Away order (From both the Residence and from Myself). He returned to ask the Homeowner “If he could move back in?” at 8am in the morning 2 days ago. (And the subject will be re-arrested for violating that order as of tomorrow morning when I inform the DA’s office.)

The Homeowner left the subject in the house with me and his daughter and went to work (I can’t believe this). The subject entered my room through a closed door and woke me up from a sound sleep, apologizing and asking to “move back in”. I had to instruct him to leave 4x.

He has called the Homeowner all weekend and asked again and again to “Please be able to move back in?” Incredibly, the Homeowner keeps asking me “If this is okay?” I have told him approximately 9x, “No, it is not okay”.

Just tonight the homeowner phrased it differently, asking “If I respected him?” When I asked “Why?” he stated “Because I am going to let him move back in”. I again stated “Absolutely Not, and expressed my intentions to call the DA’s office in the morning to report the Bail Violation.

Nonetheless this Homeowner/friend, whom I actually like, and see as over-caring and gullible, does not understand how irresponsible and dangerous his decision making abilities are, and I can no longer feel safe within the home.

I am pretty sure I have a liability case for my personal injury. I guess my question is, does the Homeowner’s actions of having a convicted Domestic Assaulter renting the room in his house prove his negligence?

And does him allowing this person back into the home, and in fact leaving him in the home while I was sleeping as he left the property, additionally contribute to is negligence? I can’t even believe someone would act this way given the seriousness of events. Is the homeowner liable? Thank You.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Kevin,

You quite obviously have a right to be upset with the circumstances. However, from the facts you present, you failed in your duty to mitigate the situation by removing yourself from the home. It was obvious there was an explosive environment and you, as an adult, are required to mitigate your risk.

Technically, you would have a personal injury claim against the person who struck you, but you must prove your injuries. To have the basis of a viable personal injury claim there must be damages. These can include medical and therapy bills, out-of-pocket expenses (for medications, bandages, etc.), lost wages, and pain and suffering.

If you haven’t removed yourself from the home, do so now. If you don’t, and you are once again injured, even if you are severely injured, you may have a difficult time getting compensation for your injuries.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: March 23, 2015

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