Premises Liability/Inadequate Security
Lai Chau was a resident in an apartment complex in when two men slipped through the apartment complex security gate. They shot Chau, then 20. Working with attorneys, Chau was later able to recover $15.7 million in damages. Her attorneys successfully proved that the apartment complex owner had been negligent in not providing adequate security, which endangered her and other residents. This is a case of premises negligence.
Many people are unaware that they are entitled to security and safety when they are in a public place, when they are visiting friends or family, or when they are in their work place. Under premises liability law, you are entitled to reasonable assurances of safety and security.
When you are walking along a public sidewalk, through a store or other locations, you should be assured of your own safety and health. When you are attending a public event, you should feel safe and secure against injury or attack. Unfortunately, all too often people fall or suffer other injuries because of a wet floor, ice on a sidewalk, inadequate lighting or an uneven surface. Sometimes a falling object can injure a pedestrian who is walking past a construction site. Or the construction site excavation is accessible to the public, leading to falls or other accidents.
If a child trespasses and is injured, a property owner is often held liable because a court will hold that children are less able to detect dangers due to their inexperience and limited judgment. Injuries also occur when a chair collapses in a waiting room or auditorium. Through negligence, the owner of a dog can leave a gate open, allowing the dog to escape and attack someone walking past.
It is the duty of the owner of the premises to take reasonable precautions against injury and harm to patrons and anyone invited to attend events at these premises. For example, a worker who is completing a job in a home and falls because a basement stair is broken can suffer a serious injury. In such a case, the homeowner may be liable for the worker's expenses, including medical bills, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and time lost from work due to injury. Another example would be a grocery store manager, who is obligated to have staff check the store's floors for spilled or broken merchandise and to promptly clean up any liquids that could endanger customers. Too often, owners cut costs and subject those present to dangers that should otherwise have been prevented. In the case involving Lai Chau, her assailants would have been prevented from entering her apartment complex if the owner had spent just a little more on a dependable security system.
In Illinois, inadequate security laws require property owners and managers to provide safe premises for patrons and guests. Premises owners can be liable for sexual assault, injuries and wrongful deaths that result from inadequate security such as:
Failure to respond to a request for help;
Malfunctioning, broken, or insufficient door locks in apartment buildings, motels, or hotels;
Failure to have security guards posted;
Insufficient or inadequate security staff;
Poor guest and visitor screening;
Lack of or broken or malfunctioning phones or security cameras;
Failure to warn of potential threats;
Inadequate lighting in stairwells and parking lots.
If you or someone you love has been injured because of inadequate security, please call us for an immediate free consultation. With more than 40 years of experience in trying and settling injury cases, Kreisman Law Offices provides the best possible services to our many clients and achieves unsurpassed results. Please call us 24 hours a day at 312.346.0045 or toll free 800.583.8002 for a free and immediate consultation, or complete a contact form online.