Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Family of girl crushed by Tampa apartment gate files wrongful-death suit

TAMPA — Parents of a 7-year-old girl whose skull was crushed under her apartment complex's fallen gate filed a wrongful-death suit this week against the complex and its management.

In April, the gate at Brookside Apartments at 5008 Sierra Place fell onto Zhanaye Williams, trapping her underneath and causing the head trauma that killed her, according to Tampa police.

Neighbors said she was swinging on the gate, being pushed back and forth by other children while waiting for the school bus.

According to the lawsuit filed Monday by Coretta Williams on behalf of her daughter's estate, the accident was witnessed by her older brother, 9-year-old Christian Williams. The lawsuit said the complex and the management, Franklin Street Apartment Management Services, were responsible for Zhanaye's death because they failed to maintain the premises, correct dangerous conditions, disclose or warn residents and implement procedures to inspect and correct the conditions.

Lawyers called the accident "reasonably foreseeable" and said the complex owed a duty to exercise reasonable care.

Brookside is owned by Barfield Bay Holdings Inc., a Naples-based real estate company that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization on Brookside in 2009. It said then the troubles stemmed partly from capital improvements, including repairs to its roofs, pool, landscaping, parking lots, laundry rooms and termite-damaged wood. The bankruptcy case ended in 2010.

The four-count suit alleges wrongful death against Brookside and Franklin Street and negligent infliction of bodily injury and emotional distress against both on behalf Zhanaye's brother. Christian Williams "suffered injury and emotional distress from this incident, and his damages and injuries are continuing and permanent in nature," the suit said.

Family of girl crushed by Tampa apartment gate files wrongful-death suit 10/03/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 11:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees


    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact


    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show


    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.