Inadequate Security in Lexington, KY

Premises Liability Lawyer

Imagine this scenario: You work in a Kentucky office building and leave late in the day. The public areas around the building and its parking lot are not well lit. There are only a few security cameras. A security guard is at the entrance of the building, but none are patrolling the parking lot. Despite recent muggings and assaults in the area, no improvements in the property’s lighting or security have been made. If you’re the victim of a crime coming out of work and are injured, you may be able to file a claim of negligence due to inadequate security against the building owner or manager.

If a party has a duty to keep you safe and fails in that duty, you may have a basis for a premises liability lawsuit. If a business or another person asks you to be somewhere or invites you to their business and doesn’t take the proper steps to keep you safe and you are injured as a result, you may be able to maintain a negligence action against the party.

Generally, inadequate security is any instance where a property owner or manager fails to provide reasonable security for its guests.

  • This includes not just parking lots or sidewalks free of slippery surfaces or broken railings but also taking reasonable steps to try to protect people from crimes that may be foreseeable.
  • What would make an action reasonable depends on the situation.

A claim of negligence concerning inadequate security would involve these findings:

  • The property owner, manager or tenant owes a duty to provide for the safety of the plaintiff.
  • Its failure breached that duty. It did something it shouldn’t have done or failed to do something it should have done, not following the standard of care needed for that situation.
  • The breach of the standard of care caused an injury or death.
  • There are damages that can be compensated under the law, including pain and suffering of the individual and economic losses such as medical bills and lost wages.

If a mall is the scene of repeated assaults yet it continues to hold itself out as a place for people to shop, it needs to take steps to keep people safe. A failure to do so resulting in a patron’s being the victim of a crime that caused an injury could result in a lawsuit seeking compensation for losses suffered by the plaintiff, including medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Inadequate security could happen virtually anywhere on privately owned property, but it’s more common in areas that draw large numbers of people in potentially higher crime areas, including,

  • Parking lots and garages
  • Hotels and motels
  • Amusement parks
  • Stadiums and sports arenas
  • Malls, stores and shopping centers
  • Schools and colleges
  • Office buildings
  • Apartment buildings and condos
  • Elevators and stairwells
  • ATM kiosks
  • Nursing homes and health care facilities.

What actions a defendant did or didn’t do to justify a lawsuit varies in each situation, the nature of the property and the nature of the potential criminal threat. Some possible actions/inactions are:

  • There are no security guards or doormen.
  • Security guards aren’t qualified for the job or are improperly trained, supervised or equipped.
  • There is a lack of security cameras, or they are not working properly, or they fail to cover areas of potential danger, or they are not properly monitored.
  • Lighting is insufficient.
  • Fencing or other physical barriers are missing.
  • There are no locks, they don’t work correctly or people entering a building aren’t properly screened.
  • Good security doesn’t just include physical measures to keep potential criminals out of an area or actively discouraging them from committing crimes; it can also include an employer’s taking steps to make sure its own employees won’t victimize customers, contractors, visitors or other employees by committing crimes against them. An employer could be negligent in the areas of hiring, training and supervision if it hires an unfit applicant, knowing that there is a high risk that the employee might commit a crime or harm others.

The employer may be negligent if it fails to:

  • Do a criminal background or fails to check with prior employers to see if there was any violent or questionable behavior
  • Train the employee on what is and isn’t acceptable behavior or fails to observe the employee to make sure he or she is behaving properly
  • Discipline or fire the employee if he or she engages in unacceptable, violent or possibly criminal behavior.

If the employer fails to take the correct steps and an employee commits a crime that harms another, the employer may be liable.

These types of cases can involve complex factual and legal issues, so this isn’t an issue you should handle by yourself. If you or a loved one has been injured on another’s property due to inadequate security in Kentucky, you may have a case. Call us today so we can discuss what happened, how the law may apply and what we can do to help.