All 1,000 guests at one of Miami Beach’s most popular hotels were evacuated Saturday night after a deadly shooting at the Resort and Spa. Guests at a wedding party underway on the top floor of the hotel were among the evacuees, as was Prime Minister of Belize Dean Darrow, who was in the midst of a dinner speech and was accompanied by his own security team, reported NBC News.
Police have not released details of the incident, however both NBC and CBS4 reported details from various sources: Allegedly some men hired prostitutes after checking into the hotel but were also visited by a pimp who shot and killed one of them. The pimp and prostitutes allegedly escaped. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.
Inadequate security and premises liability lawsuits usually involve criminal assaults and violent crime due to negligent security, insufficient lighting, inadequate security equipment, inadequate security personnel, or other causes. In negligent security cases, the plaintiff who has been injured due to a criminal act brings an action against the owner or manager of the premises or business. Those who are in control or in a position to prevent the incident where the plaintiff was injured are the parties who are most often defendants. The law governing these cases is derived from the general principle that those who own or possess property have a duty to protect users from accidental, negligent, and intentional acts of third parties.
In cases involving ‘innkeepers’ (hotel/motel owners or managers), providing security is a non-delegable duty. These businesses can hire a security guard or security company, but they are still on the hook in terms of liability. The actual performance of security duties can be delegated, but not the legal responsibility. In most cases, the duty of care is owed by the party in control of the property.
Negligent security cases can fall into several categories, each with its own nuances, including the following:
• Security personnel, who may not have been properly trained, or who took inappropriate action in a violent crime situation;
• Lighting, which may have been inadequate at the start or poorly maintained after installation;
• Security equipment, including access control, locking mechanisms and closed circuit television;
• Perimeter control, or limiting access to a property through fencing, landscaping or other means (CPTED or “crime prevention through environment al design”);
• Policies and procedures: A business may not have security policies and procedures in place or the security personnel didn’t follow those procedures.
John Leighton wrote Litigating Premises Security Cases (Thomson-West), the most comprehensive national text on handling and trying premises security cases.