Why Attorneys Get It Wrong on Premises Security Cases

Obviously they don’t all miss the point.  However, premises security cases or any other tort associated with security is about business planning.

Regardless of the type or size of a business, they all have some level of policies and procedures.  From those they train their employees with the expectation that “the company” expects employees to perform accordingly.  The word “security” is synonymous with criminal acts and crime prevention.  My approach comes from years in corporate environments:  security is a subset of company operations.  When a lawsuit is filed about serious injury of death from the criminal acts of third parties, lawyers, in general, see the case about that instant in time.  True the case purports some type of negligence but the root cause in rarely, if ever, about the moments preceding the crime.  It actually about how that company performed its operational functions leading up to the crime.

Generally, for a case to move forward, the court needs to understand that the defendant company had prior notice, called foreseeability, that it was reasonable to anticipate that the crime would occur at that specific location.  In other words, a wide net of all 2000 JoeBobs Convenience Stores’ crime history is not relative to store #2455 in Dimebox, Texas.  As a security expert witness for the plaintiff’s attorney, my job is to look backwards in time at what should the location have known about the threat of violent crime.  Without establishing that, there is little chance a case can proceed.

My initial discussions with potential plaintiff attorneys are about deficiets in lighting, cameras, fences etc.  Those “things” did not allow the crime to be committed in and of themselves.  The humans who manage the processes and people (or failed to do so) is the focus.  That element is central to determining whether a company exercised reasonable care.

Call us today to have your case evaluated regardless of plaintiff or defense.  pat.murphy@lptoday.com or 713-899-2402