If you live in south Florida you may recall the very tragic case of a 19-year-old chef who was murdered in her apartment in the City of Oakland Park last year. On June 3rd, 2014 police say that the killer entered through a sliding-glass door and stabbed the victim several times. Then he stole her wallet.
The victim’s family is now suing the owners of the Bridgewater Place gated apartment complex where the horrible crime occurred as well as a security company for failing to provide adequate security, proper lighting, and sufficient locks. These elements are all part of an area of law known as security negligence and premises liability and Florida Statute 768 covers these issues.
The Chapter is very broad and covers the many responsibilities imparted to a property owner as well as limits to liability. For example, certain types of property must have adequate security lighting and security cameras. Another responsibility of property owners is to ensure that their employees have been screened by running a background check.
One section the statute describes the different status of victims, such as a trespasser or an invited guest, and factors such as intoxication can be relevant as to level of liability for the owner.
In the case of the Bridgewater Place tragedy the victim was a resident, so obviously she was not a trespasser, but if the case reaches a trail the court will be looking at many other details to determine any negligence or liability.
This awful incident illustrates the fact that there is no such thing as too much security.
Unfortunately we must be constantly alert as to our surroundings, while at the same time living our lives without fear. Business and property owners must understand the serious responsibilities they assume and take proper steps to comply with the law.
Not all cases are as serious as this one, negligent security may be involved when a purse is snatched in front of the supermarket, or a person is assaulted in an office building. Proper security measures must be in place. It’s the law.
The areas of negligent security and premises liability are very complex and specialized areas of law in Florida. The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has dedicated a significant part of their practice to these areas, and they are very well qualified and experienced handling these cases for victims.
A call to 954-356-0006 will put you in touch with Gary and Arleen Lazarus, two Florida attorneys who have been guarding the rights of victims of negligence for over 20 years.