Negligent Security Claims
On Dec. 27, 2016, about 200 teens stormed a Philadelphia Mills mall entrance – but police and security officers were waiting for them, and only about 30 to 40 teens were able to get inside. Police arrested four members of the rowdy mob and were able to restore order in about two hours.
That incident is an illustration of responsible, pro-active security. The day before the mob arrived, teens had caused trouble at the mall. Knowing schools were closed that week, police and security anticipated that more teen-related disturbances might occur, so they increased security as a precaution. But all too often, people entrusted with the security of others fail to protect them from harm.
When security is negligent, people may suffer serious or fatal injury – due to either an accident or an act of violence. If you believe your injuries resulted from negligent security, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the experienced personal injury attorneys at Wapner Newman to request your free consultation: 1-800-LAW-6600.
Wapner Newman Resolves Case Involving Negligent Security of Casino
Wapner Newman successfully resolved a case in which a couple was carjacked in a casino parking garage. Sadly, one of the victims lost his life. The casino – including management, security and surveillance – was responsible for the complete systemic failure to secure the safety of the premises, costing the casino guest his life.
Where Security is Necessary
Many retail businesses use security systems and surveillance cameras, primarily to protect their own assets. Cameras intended to prevent shoplifting may also help protect customers, because criminals may be less inclined to commit an armed robbery or act of violence when they know security cameras are present.
Other places where security is necessary include:
- Places of worship
- Hospitals and nursing homes
- Sporting events and concerts
- Apartment complexes
- Parking lots and garages
- Public pools and fitness centers
- Public transportation
- Amusement parks.
In cases of negligent security, courts consider whether an owner or manager used “reasonable care” regarding security. For example, if a parking garage has been the site of several violent crimes and its owner fails to increase security, the owner might be found negligent should another person suffer a violent attack on that property.
Appropriate Security Measures
According to Security Magazine, video surveillance cameras are effective in preventing theft, but the presence of a uniformed security guard or police officer is more effective for preventing bodily harm. Unlike cameras, officers can instantly react and intervene, should a security threat occur.
Before 1981, security for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority consisted of 65 or fewer rookie police officers who could not adequately cover the entire system. But after the city developed the SEPTA Transit Police Department and the first SEPTA officers began patrols, all transit system crime fell by 47 percent, and major crimes fell by 20 percent. Today, more than 260 SEPTA transit officers protect commuters and SEPTA employees from harm.
Past incidents of violence should always be considered when companies or organizations implement or update their security policies. Security must also account for the specific needs of the people it’s supposed to protect. For example:
- A hospital or nursing home has to control not only who gets into a building, but also who gets out. When security is negligent, a gravely ill patient or resident could simply wander out the front door. Threats in a nursing home may be internal, as well. Several reports of caregivers abusing and neglecting nursing home residents highlight the need for strong safety policies and internal controls.
- Schools, which have been the sites of many mass shootings in recent years, must control access to buildings. Many schools also require visitors to sign in and get a visitor’s badge, and they hire security officers to patrol hallways.
- Employers must consider how they will protect their workers from violence. That may include controlling access to the workspace, monitoring and patrolling parking lots, and, in high-risk settings – such as banks, convenience stores, and pharmacies – installing protective barriers and panic buttons.
- Landlords are not required by law to hire security guards for their property, but they must ensure tenants have locks on widows and doors. If a tenant reports a malfunctioning lock, and the landlord does not make an effort to repair it, the landlord could be found liable if the faulty lock allows an intruder to enter the dwelling and harm the tenant.
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Advocacy for Victims
All too often, lax security becomes apparent only after someone has suffered a serious or fatal injury. Some accidents and acts of violence are unpredictable, but many tragic events could be prevented, with appropriate security.
Wapner Newman attorney Steven Wigrizer is well aware of the trauma people have suffered due to negligent security. He and other members of the Wapner Newman legal team have represented individuals and families harmed by negligent security, getting them the compensation they deserve for their pain and suffering.
If you believe negligent security led to your injuries, request your free, no-obligation consultation by filling out our online form, or calling us at 1-800-LAW-6600.