Under Florida law, the owner of a property may be held liable for injury or wrongful death which occurs due to a lack of adequate security on their property.
Negligent security claims fall under the umbrella of premises law, which asserts that control or ownership of property – known as the “premises”- creates a duty of care to persons on those premises.
Negligent security cases cover a wide range of possibilities and can include incidents which occur on both commercial and residential properties.
Florida law requires that property owners take adequate precautions to protect people on their premises from harm. Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for employees, theme parks a safe experience for visitors, and hotels a safe environment for their guests.
Additional examples of public properties in this classification may include shopping centers and malls, public parking lots, schools and daycare centers, apartment complexes, bus stations and airports, and sports arenas.
Given that these places routinely see heavy traffic, it stands to reason that criminal activity will likely occur at some time. However, it is the onus of the property owner to have adequate security measures in place to mitigate the situation, with the intention of either preventing criminal activity or curtailing an incident as much as possible.
Examples of suggested security measures at public shopping and entertainment venues may include:
* adequate lighting in entranceways, hallways, alleyways
* motion and sensor lighting
* emergency phones or call stations
* security systems and video surveillance
* silent alarms
* prominent security guard or police presence
In the case of apartment complexes or hotels, self-locking doors, card key access systems, and resident-only lobbies and elevators are often recommended.
Schools and daycare centers may have a single secure point of entry into the facility.
When Can a Negligent Security Lawsuit Be Filed?
When someone is robbed, attacked, or assaulted on a property because of inadequate security, they may sustain serious physical and emotional injuries. If it is determined that the property owner failed to provide reasonable security measures which would have prevented the incident, the establishment may be liable.
* Basic Security Measures: The determination of appropriate security will vary depending on the type of
establishment. A nightclub will have a different expectation of security than an apartment building.
* Causality: The harm caused must be attributed to the security breach. For instance, a broken entry lock resulting
in an attack of a resident is likely negligent security.
* Injury to Body or Property: If the victim was harmed bodily or had property damaged or stolen, a negligent
security claim may be appropriate.
If you have questions regarding your liability as a business owner – or if you feel you have a case for a negligent security claim – give the experienced negligent security attorneys at Probinsky, Cole & Chavez a call. We are glad to review your case and advise you as to your best course of action.