By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
It’s a heartbreaking story that began last November, in the Traditions community in North Las Vegas. Eleven-year old Angelina Erives was sitting at the kitchen table with her family, when suspected gang members fired multiple gunshots into her home.
Angelina’s mother, Anabel Sarabia, quickly pulled her three children under the table. Sadly, one of the bullets hit Angelina. Anabel, her husband, Alberto Sarabia, and Angelina’s two sisters, Dayanara Erives and Bella Rose Sarabia, watched helplessly as the young girl died from her wounds.
According to a report in the Review Journal, upon hearing the gunshots, a neighbor ran out of his house with a gun. He shot and killed the 19-year-old driver of the vehicle that had dropped off the three shooters. No charges have been filed against the neighbor.
A police investigation resulted in the arrest of Erin Hines, Isaac George and Damion Dill. The three alleged shooters face charges of attempted murder and discharging a firearm into an occupied structure.
According to police, the suspects intended to fire shots at 6709 Courtney Michelle Street, a house two doors down the street from Angelina’s family. They mistakenly targeted the wrong house.
Lawsuit: The senseless death of little Angelina could have been prevented.
Six months following that horrific night, Angelina’s family is suing the Traditions HOA, its management company, and the owners and managers of 6709 Courtney Michelle Street.
According to the lawsuit filed Attorney Sean Claggett, on behalf of Angelina’s parents, Las Vegas police were already familiar with 6709 Courtney Michelle Street. They had filed multiple public nuisance reports, and even raided the 5-bedroom home in the past.
At one point, 20 people resided in the house, several of them known gang members. The Section 8 qualified rental property is owned by Xiaojing Zhang and Xiaojin Yang, two real estate investors who live in California. Platinum Property Management, LLC, managed the property for Zhang and Yang.
On many occasions, neighbors complained about dangerous and suspicious activity at 6709 Courtney Michelle to Traditions HOA, managed by Nicklin Property Management & Investments.
Traditions HOA is governed by covenants and restrictions (CC&Rs) that give the HOA the right to evict any tenant who commits three or more “material violations” of the governing documents within a 12-month period.
The lawsuit argues that the tenants of 6709 violated the HOA’s nuisance restrictions against “noxious, illegal or offensive activity” more than three times within a year. Property owners, Zhang and Yang, or Platinum Property Management failed to evict the tenants who were in violation of CC&Rs, including alleged illegal activities.
Therefore, the lawsuit reasons, Traditions HOA or Nicklin Property Management & Investment should have evicted the tenants who were the intended target of the shootout that killed Angelina.
The lawsuit seeks more than $30,000 in damages, plus punitive damages for Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress.
Powerhouse trial attorney delivered verdicts in another HOA lawsuit
Sean Claggett, partner of Claggett & Sykes Law Firm, is a well-known, high profile personal injury attorney. According to his profile, Claggett’s trial experience includes a $16.4 million jury verdict in favor of his client, who sustained traumatic brain injury in a slip and fall accident at Lowes.
Readers of IAC might also recall Claggett’s successful lawsuit against Lamplight Village HOA. A jury awarded his client $20 million. In that case, Carl Thompson was injured when the metal crossbar of a swing set at the HOA community play ground struck him in the head.
The HOA was found to be negligent, when it failed to continue a maintenance agreement with the swing set’s manufacturer, but did not remove the defective equipment to prevent injury.
News of the jury verdict caught Lamplight HOA owners by surprise. Most homeowners had been completely unaware of the pending lawsuit.
Unable to meet their $20 million obligation, Lamplight Village HOA negotiated a settlement with Claggett. Thompson agreed not to file liens on HOA properties, and, in return, the HOA agreed to sue their insurance provider, assigning any payments recovered to Thompson.
Warning to HOAs
Lamplight Village HOA could have prevented Thompson’s life-altering injury if it had properly maintained its community playground. Likewise, the HOA could have limited its legal exposure by purchasing adequate liability coverage, and settling out of court, before the trial went to jury.
Several other HOAs currently face wrongful death lawsuits, due to negligence of HOAs and other parties.
Virginia family of shooting victim files wrongful death lawsuit against HOA, Security company, and guard
Overgrown hedge at Condo led to child’s death and $12M lawsuit
Cape condo where 2 children drowned had no pool fence
Michael Braun, MBRAUN@NEWS-PRESS.COMPublished 10:45 a.m. ET May 16, 2017 | Updated 1:48 p.m. ET May 17, 2017
It shouldn’t take the tragic death of a child to compel an HOA to follow the terms of its CC&Rs, and that includes doing all in its power to maintain a safe environment for residents and their guests.
No HOA should tolerate dangerous and criminal activity in their community. Although an HOA is somewhat limited in its authority, compared to law enforcement agencies, it can file police reports, sue irresponsible landlord-owners, and evict tenants that threaten neighborhood safety.
If the Traditions HOA did attempt to oust the residents of 6709 Courtney Michelle Street, hopefully those facts will be revealed in pending criminal and civil cases.
And if the court finds the HOA to be negligent, all property owners will share the cost of damages that exceed insurance coverage limits. ♦
Mother of North Las Vegas girl killed in wrong-house shooting sues HOA
By Rachel CrosbyLas Vegas Review-Journal
May 10, 2019 – 12:32 pm Updated May 10, 2019 – 6:57 pm
Family of 11-year-old girl killed in Nov. shooting suing HOA, management company
By Kel Dans, KLAS8 Las Vegas Now,
Posted: May 10, 2019 / 07:15 AM PDT / Updated: May 10, 2019 / 07:43 PM PDT
ANABEL SARABIA, as an Individual and Administratrix and Personal Representative of THE ESTATE OF ANGELINA ERIVES; ANABEL SARABIA, on behalf of DAYANARA ERIVES, a minor child; ALBERTO SARABIA JR. and ANABEL SARABIA on behalf of BELLA ROSE SARABIA, a minor child; ALBERTO SARABIA JR., an Individual,
PLATINUM PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, LLC, a Nevada Limited Liability Company; NICKLIN PROPERTY MANAGEMENT & INVESTMENTS, INC., a Nevada Corporation; TRADITIONS HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, a Nevada Non-Profit Corporation; XIAOJING ZHANG, an Individual; XIAOXIN YANG, an Individual; DOES I-X; and ROE BUSINESS ENTITIES XI-XX, inclusive,