An Overview Of Negligent Security
In Florida, landowners generally have no duty to protect persons from the criminal acts of a third party over whom the landowner exercise no control. However, a landowner does have a duty to protect an invitee or tenant when the criminal attack is reasonably foreseeable and the landowner had actual or constructive knowledge of prior similar acts having occurred on the premises. A landowner is imputed knowledge when there are crime grids that show similar acts having occurred in the vicinity.
Unlike other type of landowners, a landlord’s duty to provide tenants with reasonable protection from criminal attack within leased premises does not necessarily have to be implied from prior similar occurrences in light of duty imposed on landlords by section 83.51(2)(a)2,3 of the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (“The Act”). The Act provides that a landlord has a duty to provide “locks and keys” for the dwelling units and to maintain common areas in a “safe condition.” When the incident occurs inside a tenant’s unit and a contributing factor was the lack of locks and keys, there is no requirement that the Plaintiff prove that the landlord had prior knowledge of similar events happening in the premises. However, the Plaintiff must still prove that the injuries sustained were the legal and proximate cause of the landlord’s negligence.
Liability may also arise when a landlord’s failure to screen a tenant’s criminal background results in injuries to another tenant or invitee. It stands to reason that if a Landlord rents to individuals that have a history of assault, rape, battery or even homicide, that said landlord provide its’ other tenants with adequate security. It is reasonable foreseeable that a tenant who has previously committed a criminal act could repeat their prior bad acts. Consequently, it is only fair to hold a landlord liable for attacks which were reasonably foreseeable and could have been prevented but for the existence of adequate security.
Mr. Izquierdo has represented, with excellent results, many clients that have been the victims of an establishment’s negligent security. In Maldonado v. Park Plaza Hotel, Mr. Izquierdo, along with the firm of Haggard Parks, obtained a 4 million settlement for the spouse of a man that had been the tragic victim of the hotel’s lack of adequate security. In Campos vs. Opa-Locka Flea Market, the firm obtained a 2.2 million settlement for the surviving children of a couple that had been killed as a result of the flea market’s lack of adequate security. You can read more about these and other cases under the Noteworthy cases tab.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a landowner’s failure to provide adequate security and to arrange a free initial consultation to further discuss how we can help you through this difficult time in order to protect your rights, please contact Miami Personal Injury Lawyer / Hialeah Car Accident Lawyer Alexis Izquierdo at our Florida office today at (305) 985-7800. Se Habla Español / Spanish language services available. Our staff is ready to help you.
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