Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Negligent security: When property owners are liable for assault

Were you assaulted on someone else's (or a company's) property? Was there a problem on that property that contributed to your injuries? Depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to hold the property owner accountable for your injuries.

While the government holds the assailant criminally responsible for what he or she did to you, a personal injury lawyer can help you bring a Pennsylvania premises liability lawsuit against the property owner.

A property owner has a duty to keep the property safe and free from hazardous conditions. In order to recover compensation for negligent security, a plaintiff must show that there was a dangerous condition on the property; the property owner knew of the dangerous condition and didn't take action to remedy the condition or warn guests of the condition; and that this negligence contributed to the attack.

While a property owner generally does not have a duty to ensure that people are protected from attacks by third parties, business owners have this duty when they invite guests on their property. Historically, this duty comes from the duty of hotel owners to keep their guests safe.

Some conditions that can contribute to attacks include:

  • Poorly trained security or not enough security
  • No security cameras or broken security cameras
  • Broken doors and locks
  • Inadequate lighting

A negligent security case can be bolstered by evidence of past attacks on the same property as well as evidence that the owner had been told of a security concern and had not acted to remedy the situation.

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