In 2015, in Arizona, there were 28,012 violent crimes, including 2,294 sexual assaults and 6,360 robberies. Violent crime can result from the lack of or inadequate security by commercial property managers, owners, or security firms responsible for keeping the area safe for those who enter the premises.
Criminal activities such as theft, robbery, sexual assault, assault and battery, and other crimes involving violence may be the result of negligent security. The most commonly named defendants in these cases are hotels, stores, malls, apartment and condos, and restaurants.
In one case, a woman apartment tenant was sexually assaulted by an unknown intruder who entered through her bedroom window. She sued the building management company for inadequate security. The locks were cheap, and the management company had told her that the building had security guards that patrolled the area. It was later found that there were no security guards. The court awarded her damages of $180,000.
The family of a 12-year-old girl sued their building owners and managers when a homeless person kidnapped their daughter from the apartment lobby. The court awarded the family $1.3 million in the settlement.
In both of these cases, the property manager and security company did not take the proper security measures to keep apartment residents safe from harm.
Legal Duty to keep residents and visitors from harm
A property owner and manager are responsible for maintaining the property in a safe condition and eliminating known hazards. Negligent security assumes that the crime could have been prevented or at least made less likely by using appropriate security measures.
Reasonable security for a property will vary from case to case. Some common security features are:
- Adequately trained security patrols during business hours or when guests are expected to be at the property
- Appropriate lighting
- Video monitoring or security systems
- Functioning security hardware such as locks
- Restricting the ability to hand out duplicate keys to common areas of residential complexes.
Property managers, owners, and security companies have a responsibility to protect customers, employees, and tenants from injury, including harm from criminal acts on their property. If someone is injured or hurt on the property because of inadequate security measures, the responsible companies could be held liable. If you or a loved one has been inured as a result of negligent security, call the experienced personal injury attorneys at Folger Law firm to determine your rights.