Property Owner Liability Problem

Posted almost 2 years ago. Applies to Las Vegas, NV, 5 helpful votes

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Liability for providing security

Many companies that enter into price-driven contract security agreements mistakenly believe that they are reducing or eliminating their liability for providing security. Many managers also think that general liability insurance covers civil action awards. But some states do no allow insurance companies to pay the punitive damages levied against the insured.

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Premises Liability for Third Party Crime

Owners and managers of commercial property (including leased residential properties) can be held liable under civil negligence claims for harm to persons caused by third party crime. For example, the courts held that hotel owners could be held liable where a 19-year old man was shot to death when a gun was fired into a crowd during a party of about 200 guests.

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Premises Liability for Third Party Crime

A plaintiff can establish rights as a third-party beneficiary of a security services contract through post orders: the written orders that are set out in the contract to direct the security officers' actions while they are on duty. Post orders usually include set time requirements for patrols as well as instructions regarding how officers are to assist in monitoring access control and keeping unauthorized people off the property to reduce the risk of theft, vandalism, and assault.

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Who's Liable Now?

Consider the following scenario: A company has been contracted to provide guard services at a major sports stadium. A season ticket holder, Mr. Smith, attends the season's opening game accompanied by his wife and two children. Seated two rows behind Smith are several intoxicated fans who begin shouting obscenities. At one point, Smith asks them to stop cursing. The parties exchange insults followed by yelling and pushing. The confrontation escalates into a full-blown physical assault on Smith, who is knocked down and injured. Smith files a lawsuit against the stadium, claiming that it was negligent in control of the rowdy crowd. He also names the guard company as a defendant under several legal theories, including that he was owed a duty as a third-party beneficiary of the security service agreement.

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Failing to protect its customers

A property owner, including businesses, landlords, and homeowners, may be held legally liable for failing to protect its customers, renters or visitors from violent crime. Inadequate security in the form of insufficient lighting, failure to hire security guards, failure to install or maintain security equipment, failure to monitor security equipment, or negligence by security guards, may create a situation where foreseeable violent crime occurs. An inadequate security lawsuit can help victims and/or their families recover damages due to physical or sexual assault and wrongful death.

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Difficult to obtain and discover the information necessary

It is often made very difficult to obtain and discover the information necessary to successfully handle these cases. Large corporations like supermarkets, department stores, pharmacies and other commercial buildings, employ a large staff which is trained to minimize risk by preventing their inspection and maintenance policies and procedures and surveillance from being discovered. Our attorneys are committed to keeping the pressure on these defendants and compelling them to produce all crucial information and documentation.

Additional Resources

Howard Roitman, Esq. 8921 W. Sahara Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89117 (702) 647-8550

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