Property owners can be liable for failure to protect against criminal acts on their premises

July 20, 2016 by The Law Office of Travis Williams

We often hear on the news of crimes committed at an apartment complex, a restaurant or at a gas station.  Did you know that the owners of these types of public places have a responsibility to take all appropriate measures to ensure that visitors to their businesses or properties are safe?

Although hard fought and highly contentious, you may have a valid claim against a property owner if you are intentionally injured by the criminal act of someone with no association whatsoever to the prsecurity liabilityoperty.  These cases typically arise when customers or employees are injured during the course of a robbery or other types of violent criminal behavior.  The Supreme Court has essentially asked the Courts to look at two questions: (1) was there a foreseeable risk, and (2) did the owner fail to take reasonable action to protect their customers from that risk.

To determine a foreseeable risk, the courts will ask four questions: (1) Is the property in a high crime area?  (2) Were there previous crimes at the location?  (3) Have there been news stories of crimes in the area?  (4) Are similar businesses being robbed in the area?  If a foreseeable risk is established, then the court must explore if the owner failed to take proper steps to protect customers and invitees.  Examples and important factors would be an owner not installing adequate lighting or security cameras, or even in some circumstances failing to hire a security guard.

If you have questions about a situation of security liability, contact The Law Office of Travis Williams
at 407-425-4755.


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