In some cases, yes. New York law creates a duty for property owners and operators to ensure the safety of their residents and guests. One of the most fundamental methods of fulfilling their duty to these individuals is through installing and maintaining basic security. Basic security usually entails:
- Adequate, functioning lighting;
- Secure entryways;
- Functioning door locking mechanisms; and
- Security systems, cameras, or other surveillance arrangements as required.
Failure to ensure these systems are installed or working properly leading to injury can constitute a form of premises liability and victims may be able to pursue damages for pain, suffering, and other economic losses they suffer.
Common Security Breaches
Negligent security can arise from acts or omissions that are all too common, including:
- Poor, nonexistent, or broken surveillance systems;
- Broken window and door locks;
- Poor or malfunctioning lighting;
- Dangerous conditions not remedied through routine maintenance;
- Lack of or poorly trained security personnel;
- Failure to properly screen security staff; and
- Building entryways that lack security features or staffing.
Assault and Battery Liability
Assault and battery occurring at a property may also give rise to successful New York premises liability claims and damage awards. Property owners and managers have a duty to ensure guests are not at risk of foreseeable crimes. Failing to warn guests or residents of criminal activity in the area may also breach the duty of care legally owed. Premises liability may be found if an injury can be linked to situations arising from negligent security. For example, a shopping center operator who is aware of a recent increase in parking lot break-ins or muggings at their establishment has a duty to proactively add security patrols, post notices in the parking lot, add or replace lighting, or take other steps to protect their patrons and guests from harm.
This liability extends beyond commercial properties such as shopping centers and often affects owners and operators of:
- Apartment and condominium complexes;
- Nightclubs or entertainment venues;
- Grocery stores;
- Parking complexes;
- Public buildings;
- Hospitals; and
- Retail establishments.
Recovering Damages Under Premises Liability
Property owners and operators found to have negligent security can be responsible for a variety of damages through settlements and jury verdicts to their victims. Damages may be awarded not only for medical bills incurred from the victim’s injuries, but also:
- Pain and suffering;
- Lost wages;
- Future medical expenses that will be incurred;
- Emotional distress;
- Wrongful death;
- Loss of consortium; and
- Diminished future earning capacity.
Due to the complex nature of premises liability claims and the variety of damages that may be recovered, you should get in touch with the New York premises liability lawyers at MOWK Law immediately. If you are the victim of negligent security it is important to proactively protect your rights and ensure you receive appropriate compensation for any injuries you or your loved ones have suffered.