Proving a Negligent Security Claim in Florida
In April 2016, a 30-year-old woman was beaten to death at Hialeah’s Chesapeake Motel on Okeechobee Road.
The victim was locked out of her room in a bra and jeans and, according to a lawsuit filed by her parents, motel staff did nothing to help their daughter. They also alleged that the staff allowed Ronald Lopez Andrade to linger on motel property even though he was not a guest and that the staff sold him alcohol and that staff attempted to help him find a prostitute.
She was locked out of the room she was sharing with a friend and went down to the lobby to request a key. The desk clerk refused to open the door for her because the room was registered in the friend’s name. She was told to leave the lobby and wait in the hallway. Meanwhile, the same clerk had sent Andrade to the same hallway to look for a “service woman.” He first sought sexual favors for a housekeeper before attacking the victim.
Her parents sued the motel for negligent security, and a Miami-Dade County jury recently awarded them $12 million in damages.
Negligent Security Claims
When business owners like the Chesapeake Motel are negligent in providing security for their property, they can be held liable if someone is injured (or killed) or if personal property is stolen or damaged because of that negligence. Businesses have a duty under Florida law to keep their customers safe, and providing basic security is a way to prevent foreseeable dangers.
To win a negligent security case, plaintiffs have to prove that:
- The property owner had a duty to provide basic security measures, like working locks, sufficient lighting and adequate security staff. What constitutes basic security will depend on the type of property.
- The security lapse caused the incident.
- The plaintiff suffered damages from the incident. The damages might be physical or monetary.
Negligent security cases are often complex, which is why you should consult with an experienced attorney.
Another Negligent Security Incident
In 2014, a Florida State University student was a paralyzed in a shooting at Strozier Library. He filed a negligent security lawsuit against FSU in June 2017, alleging that the university was negligent in failing to stop the gunman from entering the library.
Thirty minutes before the shooting Myron May tried to enter the library but didn’t have a student ID to access the turnstiles. He left the building and lingered out front until he came back inside and started shooting. The paralyzed student’s lawsuit alleges, among other things, that security personnel failed to report May’s suspicious behavior to university police.
Contact Us Today
Contact a Miami personal injury attorney at The Pendas Law Firm today for a free consultation if you or a loved one is the victim of negligent security. We will help you recover compensation for your losses.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Tampa, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Daytona Beach and Bradenton areas.