Another tragedy played out at Fort Hood recently when another mentally ill person killed and wounded several victims in a shooting at Fort Hood.
Obviously, the overwhelming majority of these crimes cannot be prevented, because the perpetrators are using illegal weapons, have a long history of severe mental illness, etc. But, what about those mass shootings that are preventable or foreseeable? Can a business owner or premises owner be held liable for crimes committed on the premises? The answer is yes! Under certain circumstances, a business owner or premises owner can be found liable for criminal activities, deaths, assaults, and damages.
- The first thing to remember is that Florida property owners owe a duty of care to those people on the premises, and under Florida law, can be held responsible if the violent acts were reasonably foreseeable to the premises owner.
- Florida land owners and business owners can be liable for the security being provided, if the security was “inadequate,” based on the local crime rate and prior incidents of crime in that area, if there is inadequate lighting, etc.
This is where an experienced personal injury law firm can make a big difference in a case. It is extremely important to preserve evidence, contact witnesses, and obtain statements so that a determination can be made later on regarding the liability of the owner for a criminal incident. An attorney will contact known “experts” in the field of inadequate security to provide commentary, reports, and testimony concerning the adequacy of the security, as well as an analysis of the crime rate in the local area. Under many circumstances, an experienced personal injury law firm can prove that these tragic incidents were both foreseeable and preventable, and victims and their families are entitled to damages for their pain and suffering.
If we can help you or a loved one with a premises liability case of this nature, you can reach us 24/7.