Startled while you fumbled for your car keys in the hotel parking ramp, you come face-to-face with an assailant who beats and mugs you. This criminal readily targeted you and not just because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The parking ramp was either not monitored by hotel security staff or had non-existent or non-functioning security cameras in the vicinity.
Your case represents a negligent security claim and falls under the legal category of premises liability. In such cases, property owners, landlords and businesses are accountable for not providing safe and secure premises for people on their properties. Overcome by physical and emotional trauma, you face expensive medical bills, counseling sessions and the inability to work. It is time to advocate for yourself.
Poor lighting, insufficient security
A negligent security claim surfaces when businesses – whether a hotel, apartment building, office building, restaurant or bar – display a history of certain violence on their premises. These businesses may have been aware of these attacks but failed to provide the necessary protection to prevent them from happening.
In one of the most infamous negligent security lawsuits, singer Connie Francis received a $2.5 million jury award ($11.2 million in today’s dollars) after a 1974 attack in which she was raped at knifepoint in a Long Island, New York motel after a performance. While Francis slept, the attacker broke into her motel room via a faulty sliding door.
These violent attacks can occur on any business-owned property. However, such assaults are preventable by implementing proper safety measures. Here are some of the reasons these attacks take place:
- Poor lighting: Assailants easily hide in darkness in hotel, apartment and building stairwells and common areas as well as hallways, parking lots and parking ramps.
- Lack of or non-operating security cameras: Cameras serve as deterrents and ensure safety. Security staff regularly monitor them. Without working cameras, properties seemingly invite criminals.
- An insufficient number of security staff: The size of the property helps determine how many security staff should be in place. And these workers must be properly trained.
- Easily jimmied locks on doors and windows: This was the case in Connie Francis’s 1974 attack. During the trial, a police officer testified that although the sliding doors to her motel room were locked, they were easily opened from the outside simply by “jiggling” them.
Your attack has led to a negligent injury claim. Businesses must take responsibility and ensure safety measures are in place for anyone who steps onto their property.