The good news is that violent crime is trending downward in Fort Lauderdale and Broward County, but there are still hundreds of victims whose injuries could have been prevented had adequate security been in place. Florida law requires that property owners have a legal duty to protect persons, legally on their property, from foreseeable criminal attacks. If they don’t they can become the defendant in a premises liability lawsuit.
It’s a pretty straight forward concept. If you are a property owner and you invite people to visit, then you have a duty to protect those guests from a number of hazards one of which is assault. Inadequate security or negligent security applies when a property owner does not take adequate steps to protect guests from threats that he or she can foresee or should have foreseen.
What is Inadequate Security?
What those “steps” should be and how “adequate” they are is often determined in settlement negotiations or in court. There is no standard amount of security that applies for every type of business. Adequate security for a grocery store located in a neighborhood with a low crime rate, no history of incidents, and regular business hours may require less security than a grocery store located in a high crime area that is open 24 hours per day.
That said, every business has to take the safety of their guests seriously regardless of where they are located or what their history with crime is. Examples of potentially inadequate security would include:
- Inadequate lighting both inside and outside the property
- Inadequate warning signs
- No, or inadequate security cameras
- Negligent hiring (if the perpetrator was an employee)
- Lack of security personnel or attendants
- Poor employee training
- Faulty locks or missing keys (hotels, motels etc.)
- Failure to maintain security systems and devices
The list can go on and on depending on the individual circumstances of the event.
If you are a victim of assault, robbery, battery or rape while on private property and you decide to pursue a premises liability lawsuit, you want to be certain to engage an attorney that has the experience and investigative resources to best represent you.
If you have further questions regarding inadequate security, feel free to contact us at Martin, Lister and Alvarez.