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Failed Security Is Negligent Security

When a preventable injury occurs as a result of environmental factors, this is what is known as premises liability. It means that there was a basic safety responsibility that the property owner was legally required to maintain, and then failed to do so. Inadequate lighting in stairwells that causes a fall is one example, but security on a property can be another. But how does security “fail?” When is security doing all it can, but still failing to achieve its objective, and when is security not fulfilling its legally required obligations?


More Than Just Staff


Usually when people think about security on a property, the first thing that comes to mind is an armed security officer that is present in order to maintain order, and defuse potentially dangerous situations. In some cases, the mere presence of a security officer can be a major deterrent, causing thieves, for example, to forego robbing a residential community, due to the higher than average presence of security measures.

But it’s not just a security officer that represents a security measure. Cameras, for example, that are designed to provide surveillance are also a security measure. Even the locks that are used to keep doors and buildings inaccessible except to authorized personnel are also security measures. And all of these are expected to function. If they don’t, that’s considered negligence.


It’s Not Your Fault


This means that if the security features of a property are present, but not working, and something should happen to you as a result of that security failure, that’s a case of premises liability. If a security guard is only supposed to admit residents into a gated community, and takes a nap that allows someone to enter the grounds and assault residents, that is a security failure. If the locks on the door to an apartment are broken, and the property owners fail to repair it, resulting in a robbery of possessions that’s also a failure. And if someone gets assaulted in a facility because there is one surveillance camera that doesn’t work, and the criminal knew this and deliberately committed the assault in that “blind spot,” that’s a clear case of negligence.

Legally, this type of premises liability is a definite case with sound, legal grounds for a date in court. When a property specifically offers security as a major feature, and that security fails due to poor maintenance, neglect, or shoddy training and staff selection, the property owner is 100% responsible for any crime or other misfortune that arises as a result of that failure.

Of course, sometimes extraordinary things can happen. The shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, for example, would not necessarily be an automatic case of negligent security. Even with security personnel present, the use of semi-automatic weapons means that the likelihood of defusing such a volatile, violent situation by security personnel would have been very low.

If you’ve sustained an injury as a result of security on a property failing to protect you when it should, you may have a premises liability case. Talk to a personal lawyer about this premises liability incident, and get professional help.