In Florida, business owners, property managers, landlords and security contractors have a legal duty to take necessary steps to secure their premises and prevent foreseeable harm to patrons, residents and lawful guests. If a property owner fails in this duty, he or she can be held legally responsible for the damages.
A poorly-secured premises can leave people vulnerable to robbery, sexual assault or another violent attack leading to serious and physical and emotional injuries. Sometimes, it can lead to death.
Negligent security is a special type of premises liability claim wherein someone alleges their injury by a third-party criminal on another person’s property was at least partially the result of the property owner’s failure to make the site safe when they had a responsibility to do so.
There are several defenses in negligent security cases for which your legal team should be prepared, as was illustrated in an appellate case recently before Florida’s 4th District Court of Appeal. In Pride of St. Lucie Lodge 1189 Inc. v. Reed et al, the issue was whether the court erred in awarding $5 million to the plaintiff (daughter of decedent), given that decedent had been involved in a felonious brawl at defendant night club just prior to her death. Continue reading