5 Examples of Negligent Security Causing Injuries

By Osborne & Francis
October 25, 2023

Whenever you go into someone’s business, you assume you’re going to be safe at all times. You go see a friend or family member, or you get something from a store, and then you get into your car with no problems. Unfortunately, there are too many instances where people are severely injured, or even killed, because of inadequate or negligent security

An attorney with Osborne & Francis will be here if you’ve suffered harm due to negligent security.

We provide our clients with aggressive representation, and we have a track record of delivering substantial compensation to the people we represent.

Call us at (561) 293-2600 or contact our Orlando or Boca Raton office online to discuss your case with our knowledgeable attorneys.

What is Negligent Security?

The managers and owners of property are expected to make sure that property is reasonably safe. From a legal perspective, they have a “duty” to do so. If they can foresee potential criminal acts, they must do everything they can to prevent them. This means providing proper lighting, security cameras, fencing, and, when appropriate, to hire security personnel that have been thoroughly trained.

If they fail to do so, the consequences can be horrific, including the following:

  • Robbery
  • Kidnapping
  • Assault
  • Sexual assault
  • Shooting
  • And others 

Many of these consequences can, of course, be fatal. 

So, how can a victim (plaintiff) prove that negligent security contributed to the incident? An attorney will, for instance, try to establish that the controller of the site (the defendant) had the legal duty to make sure the property is reasonably safe. If they couldn’t do that, they had the duty to warn visitors of any unsafe conditions.

Once that is proven, the attorney will then need to prove that the plaintiff suffered harm as a direct result of the failure of the defendant to make the property as safe as possible, or to warn. 

Finally, the plaintiff’s legal representative will need to show the plaintiff’s physical harm led to monetary losses, or “damages". 

5 Scenarios Involving Negligent Security

Here are some potential scenarios that can result from potentially negligent security. 

1. Failing to Take Precautions in a Known High-Crime Area

The owner of a grocery store in an area that is well-known for violent criminal activity fails to hire armed security guards. The owner refuses to even place surveillance cameras in areas of outside foot traffic, such as the parking lot. An armed robber attacks a customer leaving the store, leaving them with a severe brain injury. The victim files a lawsuit, alleging the owner failed to comply with their duty of keeping the property reasonably safe. The owner, the defendant in the suit, counters with the argument that the victim (the plaintiff) should have simply handed over their wallet to the attacker. 

2. A Nightclub Fight

A fight begins inside a nightclub and then spills out to the parking lot. One of the people involved in the fight runs to their car, starts it, and then runs over someone standing outside the club. The injured person could potentially sue the nightclub, alleging that there were no security guards on duty to stop the fight. Since the fight was allowed to escalate, the assault in the parking lot occurred as an extension. The victim could potentially file a lawsuit, alleging that the owner could have foreseen something like this happening, yet didn’t do anything to try and reduce the possibility.

3. An Assault at a Bus Stop

A man is waiting at a bus stop when he is violently attacked by a gang of teenagers. The bus stop is located near an amusement park entrance, an area that is known to be a hub of gang and criminal activity. The gang was verbally harassing amusement park guests just a few hours earlier, yet security did not force the teenagers to leave. Instead, they followed the victim to the bus stop and beat him severely. The man could likely sue the amusement park because it failed to take action to reduce the risk of an attack.

4. Interior Vs. Exterior Security

This is another scenario involving a grocery store parking lot. A customer walks out to the parking lot and is fatally shot. It is known that the assailant had a history of being in that parking lot on numerous occasions, never going into the store to shop. The family of the deceased customer sues the store, claiming that the owner should have taken more precautions, since the store was in a high-crime area. The owner claims that they did hire security, but they were only responsible for securing the inside of the store, not outside. The family could still take legal action, since the owner is responsible for securing all of the property, not just the inside. 

5. An “Unforeseeable Conduct” Defense Claim

A guest at a hotel is seriously hurt in a robbery attempt that occurs in the parking lot. The owner of the hotel tries to claim that there was no way of knowing that type of conduct would take place on that property. There were crimes in the past, but none of them were that serious. However, the victim’s attorney researches the recent crime history in the area. The attorney finds there were more than 20 similar robberies perpetrated on the property of other hotels – within a quarter-mile radius – in the previous month. These crimes also took place in parking lots. There is a very good chance that the owner in this scenario would be held liable. The reason is they didn’t provide armed security even though they knew – or should have known – that violent crimes similar to the one that took place on their property were regularly occurring nearby. 

Talk to an Attorney at Osborne & Francis

If you believe you’ve suffered significant harm due to negligent security, an Osborne & Francis attorney may be able to help you obtain compensation. Please give us a call at (561) 293-2600 to schedule a free case review, or contact our Boca Raton or Orlando office online as soon as possible.

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