Articles Tagged with crime

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Miami Beach Police Chief Carlos Noriega said that Miami Beach’s Heathrow Lounge, located in the bustling nightlife area on popular Washington Ave., had security measures in place but “something slipped through the cracks,” The Miami Herald reported today.

That “something” was a pistol, carried into the nightclub and used by a gang member to kill a young man thought to be the leader of a rival gang. “We’re not going to tolerate any gang activity here,” said Noriega.

Violent crime is no stranger to Miami Beach – in the last month, a couple was robbed at gunpoint in their hotel room on Collins Avenue, and a Russian prostitution situation led to a fatal shooting at a popular Resort & Spa. In all three situations, it seems that innocent bystanders were fortunately not harmed.

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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.
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According to a study by Liability Consultants Inc., the average settlement in a rape security case is $600,000, and the average verdict in the same type of case is $1.75 million. The average verdict in an assault in a hotel or motel is $254,850, with 25% totaling $1 million or more.

The National Center for Victims of Crime is the nation’s leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. The National Center has worked with grassroots organizations and criminal justice agencies throughout the United States serving millions of crime victims. The Center works to make sure all crime victims get the assistance and information they need, and provides GetHelp bulletins containing information on a wide range of topics, including the impact of crime, victims’ rights, and the criminal and civil justice processes. The bulletins also include resources for victims, their families, and friends. The Center can be reached Monday – Friday, 8:30 am-8:30 pm ET at 1-800-FYI-CALL (1-800-394-2255).

The National Crime Victim Bar Association
is a network of attorneys and allied professionals dedicated to facilitating civil actions brought by crime victims. Crime victims may be able to file civil lawsuits against perpetrators and responsible third parties for the damages the victims suffered as a result of the crime. Personal injury attorney John Elliott Leighton serves on the Advisory Board of the National Crime Victim Bar Association.

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In April of this year, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office announced a Tourist Oriented Policing Squad (TOPS) consisting of 10 deputies specifically trained to handle safety issues related to tourism. The announcement came one week prior to the release of 2009 crime statistics for the state of Florida, which showed a 7% drop in crime.

The statistics were generated for the 2009 Annual Uniform Crime Report, which includes offenses reported by 409 of 415 local, county and state law-enforcement agencies throughout the state. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement released the information, claiming 60,000 fewer crimes than in 2008 and a 39-year low after years of record-breaking violence.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that the drop in crime is good news for Central Florida’s tourism industry, and quoted the president of the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association, who stated: “It will support our worldwide reputation as being a safe destination.” But tourists and residents alike should not let their guards down just yet. While the numbers are encouraging, they also show more than 32,800 violent crimes committed in the state of Florida in 2009.

Travelers should be aware that when crimes occur in hotels or motels, premises liability can come into play in incidents involving assaults due to negligent security or insufficient lighting, dangerous products, pool and spa tragedies, transportation negligence (plane, car, bus, or taxi crashes), boating accidents, and many others. Key areas of potential hotel/motel liability include:
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