South Florida negligent security lawsuits involve allegations that a property owner failed to use reasonable care to protect lawful guests from foreseeable harms – including crimes committed by third parties. The occurrence of a criminal act resulting in injury on its own doesn’t open the door to a civil lawsuit against the property owner. Some very specific boxes need to be checked to proceed with this type of premises liability claim.
One recently-filed negligent security claim accuses a store and storage unit of failing to protect a South Florida surgeon who was kidnapped, beaten and threatened with death by two attackers.
According to the civil complaint, the incident occurred three years ago. His kidnappers, armed with guns and tasers, accosted him at a Hallandale Beach store parking lot, stunned him with a taser and then threw him into the rear of a cargo van before driving him to a local storage unit. There, he later told law enforcement, he was bound to a rolling chair and burned with metal cutters heated by blow torches, slapped, punched, threatened, coerced into giving his home access code and forced to drink alcohol until he passed out. The motive, authorities say, was robbery. The two assailants dumped him – tied up – in the back seat of his car early the next morning. That’s where police found him.
One of the men was sentenced to 11 years in prison after pleading guilty to federal kidnapping and conspiracy charges. The other, whose estranged wife was a patient of the doctor’s, was extradited from Spain and convicted last month on the same charges as the other. He faces a possible sentence of life in prison.
But as our South Florida negligent security attorneys can explain, that’s not the end of the ordeal. Entirely separate from the criminal proceedings is the civil case, which alleges both the store and the storage unit failed in their legal duty to take reasonably prudent measures to protect people on their respective properties. Plaintiff asserted both businesses had a history of prior violent crimes on site and failed to take adequate measures to keep people safe. Continue reading