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Premises Security Litigation / 2 South Florida Night Club Parking Lot Shootings Last Week

One man was killed and five people were injured during two separate shooting incidents at night clubs in Fort Lauderdale and Davie, Florida. The Miami Herald reported that a graffiti and tattoo artist was killed on his 21st birthday early Wednesday in the parking lot outside Club Eden, a popular Davie strip club, when he was run over by a man in a white Cadillac Escalade, following a fight. In Fort Lauderdale, before dawn Friday, a shooting in the parking lot of a club left at least five people injured, most hospitalized and at least one undergoing surgery, reported the Herald. Multiple shots were fired following a brawl between two groups of young people outside the club.

Negligent security cases generally involve an injury to an individual as a result of a criminal assault or robbery on a commercial premises. These frequently occur at malls, shopping centers, hotels, motels, office buildings, schools parking lots, or parking garages. In most negligent security cases, the plaintiff who has been injured due to a criminal act brings an action against the owner, manager and/or occupier of the premises. These are the entities that are in control of the location where the plaintiff was injured.

A duty is imposed on the owner/manager/occupier to take reasonable measures where such criminal acts are foreseeable. The Restatement (2d) of Torts §344 provides that landowners are liable for failing to exercise reasonable care to (a) discover that such acts are being done, or (b) give adequate warning so visitors can avoid the harm. There is usually no duty unless the owner/occupier knows or has reason to know of the acts of third persons.

Types of Negligent Security Cases include:
• Inadequate security
• Inadequate lighting
• Inadequate security mechanisms, procedures, facility design
• Conduct of security providers
• Hiring/Retention
• Inadequate key control (hotels/motels/apartments)
• Inadequate supervision (children, incompetents)

Litigating Premises Security Cases” (AAJ Press) is a two-volume publication covering all aspects of a premises security case, helping plaintiff attorneys achieve full compensation for innocent victims injured when business proprietors and property owners fail to protect them against foreseeable crime. The practice guide provides a detailed road map and complete resources for handling these cases from the moment the client walks in the door through successful settlement or verdict. Its complete methodology provides all the resources needed to win a premises security case, including expert legal analysis to help determine and prove a liability case and establish foreseeability of criminal conduct.