August 21, 2019

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Florida Negligent Security Claims

Miami Law Firms

If you or someone you love was injured or killed in a criminal attack in Florida, you may be able to recover compensation through a negligent security claim. Negligent security claims fall under premises liability law, and the lawsuit is brought against the owner of the property or business where the attack took place.

Types of Properties Subject to Negligent Security Claims

Property owners, business owners, and others in control of a property have a duty to provide adequate security for the protection of customers, employees, tenants, visitors, and other guests. Examples of the types of properties where criminal attacks may occur, giving rise to a negligent security claim, include:

  • Retail stores
  • Warehouse stores
  • Shopping malls
  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels and motels
  • RV parks
  • Apartment buildings
  • Rental property
  • Amusement parks
  • Schools and colleges
  • Museums
  • Parks
  • Amphitheaters and concert halls
  • Theaters
  • Government buildings
  • Banks
  • ATM’s
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Day care centers
  • Office buildings
  • Parking garages and parking lots

Foreseeability

The primary factor in determining whether adequate security measures were employed at the time and place of the attack is foreseeability. If the likelihood of a crime occurring was known or should have been known to the property or business owner, then it was foreseeable. Factors which establish foreseeability include:

  • The type of business – certain types of businesses, such as banks, ATMs, and bars, call for elevated security, by their very nature
  • A history of crime on the property, including recent crimes
  • Property located in high crime areas
  • Direct threats
  • Landlords who are aware of sex offenders living nearby
  • Employers who are aware an elevated likelihood of retaliation by an employee or customer, or domestic violence

Basic Security

The basic security measure that a property owner should take will vary according to the type of property, but some examples include:

  • Adequate lighting in parking lots, parking garages, walkways, and other common area
  • Adequate security cameras and monitoring
  • Adequate security staff
  • Proper screening of employees
  • Proper lock and key control systems in hotels, motels, and apartment buildings
  • Controlled building access
  • Panic buttons at ATMs
  • Remedies for security flaws due to design and layout
  • Warning tenants or guests of potential dangers which are not obvious

Excessive Force

Most cases of negligent security are the result of security which is too lax, but some cases are the result of overzealous security guards, bouncers, or loss prevention personnel.

Physical force by security personnel should only be used as a last resort, and must be kept to the minimum amount of force necessary.