A property owner has a duty to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition for visitors, residents, and employees. Part of this duty includes a responsibility to take specific security measures to ensure that their property is a safe environment. When a property owner fails to take reasonable steps to secure their property from foreseeable criminal conduct, then they may be held liable for negligent security. Negligent security can result in visitors, residents, and employees being the victims of physical assaults, sexual assaults, robberies, and other acts of violent crime that can lead to serious injury.
Who Can be Held Liable for Negligent Security?
In New York, property owners, operators, and managers can be held liable for the consequences of inadequate security. Examples of property owners that can be held responsible for negligent security include:
- Apartment complexes
- Hotels and motels
- Bars and nightclubs
- Office buildings
- Parking garages
- Malls and shopping centers
- Retail stores
Proving Liability for Negligent Security
To prove that a property owner is liable for negligent security, three essential elements must be established. First, a victim must demonstrate that the property owner could reasonably foresee the potential for criminal conduct in the area. For example, are they operating a business in a high crime area? A court will look at the location, nature, and extent of crime in the area to determine whether criminal conduct was foreseeable. Second, a victim must demonstrate that his or her injury was caused by the lack of security, meaning the harm could have been avoided if proper security measures had been taken. Finally, the victim must prove that he or she sustained damages as a result of the negligent security.
Examples of Negligent Security
There are some reasonable measures that a property owner can take to ensure that their premises are safe. Examples of negligent security include:
- Lack of security cameras and/or security guards
- Negligent hiring or training of security staff
- Broken door or window locks
- Unsecured entry to apartment complexes or other buildings
- Inadequate or poor lighting
- Failure to warn or notify of recent criminal activity
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you’ve been injured in an attack that may have been the result of negligent security, you should have an attorney evaluate your claim. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español