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Volunteer Attorney Helps Air Force Servicemember Reach Favorable Settlement with Landlord Lawsuit

November 25, 2019

An Air Force servicemember moved into a rental home with the promise from the landlord that some problems with the home would be fixed before she moved in with her children. When the servicemember moved into the home, there were still ongoing problems, including no hot water. This was not resolved for several days, as the landlord refused to respond to the servicemember’s communications. After the issue was resolved, the landlord made it clear to the servicemember that they did not want to be bothered for so-called “easy fixes.” The servicemember found another water problem in her kitchen that she deemed minor, so she purchased materials to fix it herself. After thinking it was successfully fixed, she briefly left the home but, after returning, she found that the home was flooded. Claiming that the water damages were from the servicemember’s negligent actions, the landlord’s insurance company brought a lawsuit against the servicemember for over $30,000 in damages.

 

As a single mother, losing this case would be financially detrimental for her and her family, so she visited a military legal assistance office to seek help. Recognizing that this servicemember needed a volunteer attorney to represent her in court, a military legal assistance attorney referred her to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, which then connected her with an attorney who offered to provide pro bono representation. The pro bono attorney was able to secure a very favorable settlement, such that the servicemember was only required to pay $500 in damages.

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