Negligent Security ATTORNEYS IN LAKELAND, FL
Representing Victims of Negligent Security
If you were assaulted, sustaining severe injuries on someone else’s property or, in some circumstances, your own home, you might be entitled to compensation. The negligent security lawyers at Dismuke Law can help you seek compensation not only from the assailant but from the property owner who failed to take reasonable steps to protect you.
In Florida, you may be able to seek compensation if a property owner fails to provide adequate security measures when they knew or should have known that there was a “zone of risk.” If you have suffered injury due to the criminal act of another you should contact a negligent security lawyer for a free consultation to determine if you are entitled to compensation.
Negligent Security Lawyer’s Analysis of a Case - Duty
The Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Appeal summed up Florida law regarding the duty owed in negligent security case by a property owner or business owner to an invitee in Banosmoreno v. Walgreen Co., 299 Fed. Appx 912 (11th Cir. 2011),
Under Florida law, a business owes invitees a duty to use due care to maintain its premises in a reasonably safe condition. This includes the duty to protect customers from criminal attacks that are reasonably foreseeable.
An invitee is typically considered to be one who enters upon the premises of another for purposes connected with the business of the owner or occupant of the premises.
There are countless examples of incidents where people are injured or killed by an assailant on private property. The question for a negligent security lawyer becomes: did the property owner or business owner fail to provide adequate security when it knew or should have known about a foreseeable risk to invitees?
A duty may also arise by other means as pointed out in Vic Potamkin Chevrolet v. Horne, 505 So. 2d 560 (Fla. 3d DCA 1987), the duty to protect strangers against the bad conduct of another can only arise if, at the time of the injury, the defendant is in actual or constructive (effectively) control of one of the following:
- the instrumentality;
- the premises upon which the tort is committed; or
the tortfeasor (the person who commits the violent act).
To find out how we can help you, call (863) 292-6922 for a free, private case review.
Negligent Security Lawyer’s Analysis of a Case - Foreseeability of the Risk
A critical element of a successful negligent security case is the injured parties ability to establish that the defendant(s) knew or should have known that a risk exists. A case regarding foreseeability was the Florida Supreme Court decision in Hall v. Billy Jack’s, Inc., 458 So. 2d 760 (Fla. 1986). The Hall case involved a bar patron who was assaulted by another patron while watching a billiards game. Foreseeability can be established in the following ways:
- By proving that a proprietor had actual or constructive knowledge of a particular assailant’s inclination toward violence or by proving that the proprietor had actual or constructive knowledge of a dangerous condition on his premises that was likely to cause harm to a patron.
- A dangerous condition may be indicated if, according to past experience (i.e., the reputation of the tavern), there is a likelihood of disorderly conduct by third persons in general which might endanger the safety of patrons or if security staffing is inadequate.
- If the lounge management knew or should have known of a general or specific risk to [the victim] and failed to take reasonable steps to guard against that risk and if, because of that failure, Hall was injured, [the business owner] may be shown to have breached its duty and may be held financially responsible for [a victims] ’s injuries.
The Courts have acknowledged foreseeability can be established by a general zone of risk in multiple ways. One Florida court noted that the factors to be considered when establishing foreseeability are:
- Industry standards of care in providing security measures;
- Community crime rate;
- The extent of assaults or criminal activity in the area or in similar business enterprises; and
- The presence of suspicious persons and the peculiar security problems posed by the design of the premises.
Focusing on the third factor, the extent of assaults or criminal activity in the area or in similar business enterprises, both proximity of time and geography of similar criminal activity can establish foreseeability. One method often used is collecting data of reported crimes in a given area around the location of the incident and presenting it through a crime plot. Below is an example showing crimes in New York City in 2019:
In establishing criteria, negligent security lawyer can present evidence of similar criminal conduct is close geographic proximity along with close temporal proximity, meaning how close together the crimes occurred. Ideally, a negligent security lawyer can establish that crimes were committed on the same property within a couple of years before the plaintiff’s incident.
Negligent Security Lawyer’s Analysis of the Case - Not just commercial properties
Many negligent security cases arise out of a lack of security in apartment complexes. There are far too many “slum lords” going around collecting money from tenants and the government for maintaining apartment complexes that are havens for violent crimes. These slum lords do not care about the safety of their tenants or any invitees. If you have been seriously injured in your apartment complex or at another complex where you were invited to enter, a landlord may be held liable for failing to implement security measures that would deter such crime.
In addition to multifamily properties, negligent security cases can in your own home where a private security company or another third party charged with providing security fails to do its job. The Third District Court of Appeal dealt with this type of case in 50 State Sec. Serv. V. Giandrandi. The claimant, the Estate of Lidia Giandrandi, brought suit after Lidia Giandrandi was murdered in her own home in a gated community. The Estate’s attorneys were able to establish that at least one security guard was to be patrolling the community in a vehicle “continuously.” To ensure the guard was moving, there were checkpoints located within the community. There were approximately two hours during which time the security failed to check in to any of the checkpoints in the early hours of the morning, during which time Ms. Giandrandi was murdered.
Violent crimes happen every day in Florida. Property and business owners must take reasonable steps to protect their invitees, and when the evidence shows they fail in their obligation, there must be accountability. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a violent crime involving serious injury or death, call the negligent security lawyers at 1-800-ASK-DAVE, we’re here to help.
Call us at (863) 292-6922 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced injury attorney today.
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