Although an employer in Florida may not be directly responsible for criminal acts committed on their property or by one of their employees, under certain conditions, an injured party may have the right to sue on the grounds of negligent security. Such vital information is commonplace on employment grounds, and is usually brought and certified from a Labor Law Compliance Center to make known of such important aspects.
This blog post will discuss some notable cases involving negligent security claims in Florida.
Case studies of cases involving negligent security
Some notable case studies in which an injured party was able to successfully sue for damages related to injury inflicted because of a criminal act include:
- Elizabeth Harrison sued Tallahassee Furniture Company, after one of the company employees viciously attacked her, resulting in near fatal injuries.
- Lee Garcia sued the Joule Yacht Company, who employed a truck driver who knocked him unconscious in a serious physical battery.
- Lee William’s brought a successful lawsuit against Feather Sound, Inc., after suffering sexual assault by day laborer.
In all three cases, the court determined that the employees were acting outside of their job description. Therefore, traditional means of suing for damages under traditional tort doctrine were not available to the plaintiffs.
New doctrines opened up legal avenues
The court ruled, however, that the plaintiffs had the right to file their lawsuits under two relatively new tort doctrines: negligent retention and negligent hiring.
Florida courts recognize that employers are fully liable for the willful negligence and criminal misconduct of their employees, if the employer is aware the workers poses a potential threat to the public.
A summary of the tort doctrines
Negligent hiring applies when an employer has the means to know of a prospective employee’s “unfitness” and potential for public danger prior to hiring.
Negligent retention differs from negligent hiring only in how it relates to the time an employer became aware of a potential public danger. If the worker has already been hired and the employee decides to retain him or her after unfitness comes to light, the employer may assume liability for damages.
In general, negligent security cases are difficult to handle, and should always be managed with a help of an experienced attorney.
The damages available in a negligent security suit
If it is determined that an employer or property owner had a duty to protect other employees, visitors or general public, the question becomes this: Was there enough security in place to protect them?
The answer is dependent on the specific circumstances of the case. The more frequently a similar crime occurs and the more dangerous that crime is, the more extensive security measures an employer or property owner would reasonably be expected to take. Such measures may include round-the-clock armed security patrols, a monitoring system with security cameras, proper lighting and more.
If the employer or property owner negligently failed to provide a level of security that was adequate to keep people safe, then crime victims have the right to seek damages for their injuries and financial losses.
It’s clear that negligent security cases can be quite complex, so if you are a victim of negligent security, contact an experienced attorney right now.