The excessive use of force in the civilian security community is frequently the main issue in civil ligation against retail loss prevention personnel, security guards, and bouncers or doormen. While the use of force may be necessary in certain situations that force must be reasonable force. Reasonable force is defined as only the amount of force necessary to overcome the resistance of the detainee. Negligent security cases scrutinize training as to type and documented evidence of understanding the force policy. The term “training” will be subject to interpretation but it could conceivably be anything from a handout to physical restraint training. Verbal instructions provided by management are generally insufficient unless there is a record of that training being given. The best practice for training, regardless of how delivered, is that each attendee document the fact that the topic was covered. This document should be kept in their personnel file.
Closed head trauma and positional asphyxia are the two leading basis for litigation. Closed head trauma occurs when a person usually strikes the back of their head as the result of a fall. Positional asphyxiation occurs when a person’s breathing is restricted because they are being sat upon by a person or, while handcuffed an on their stomach, the person’s own body weight restricts their breathing to the point of unconsciousness and death. (These are not medical opinions but are based on experience in similar cases). These injuries are quite common when an attempt is made to restrain someone to facilitate handcuffing or to hold for police.
As a Security Expert Witness, we can assist both plaintiff and defense attorneys use of force litigation.
We are qualified as an expert in Retail Loss Prevention, Security Guards and Bouncers.
For questions about unnecessary force, please contact our office or visit our Expert Witness page.