Ten people were killed last November as a result of a crowd crush at the Astroworld Music Festival. More than 300 others suffered injuries. According to concergoers, lax security as well as festival staff members being apathetic was the cause of this event becoming so devastating. As such, this was a prominent and documented example of neglect in security. Negligent security can cause horrible consequences at various sizes of properties. Hence, in this article, BagolieFriedman Injury Lawyers demonstrate the various ways inadequate security can harm people anywhere.
Negligent security, as referred to in our justice system, falls under the realm of “premises liability.” Property owners burden a responsibility to maintain their spaces safe for visitors. This includes preventing slips and falls, or similar injuries. However, negligent security takes that a step further, arguing if a property owner doesn’t provide sufficient security where a visitor is a crime victim, said property owner could be held liable.
To prove a case of negligent security, the victim must show the property owner did not provide the level of protection needed for the property, and demonstrate there was a lack of security that caused their injuries. At the end of the day, the property owner or manager knowingly failed to provide proper security to their visitors.
Examples of Negligent Security
Recently, a $4.2 million settlement was reached in a negligent security lawsuit against a realty management company after one of their senior vice-presidents admitted that the security of visitors on the property was not their number one priority. In this case, Dwight Higgins was shot and killed during an attempted robbery at an apartment complex. The complex had a long history of violent and nonviolent crime, including three shootings in the three months leading to Higgins’ death. But the consequences of sloppy security can be found anywhere and everywhere:
- Apartment complexes or dorms with broken locks or little to no security.
- Violence incidents at nightclubs or bars with no security guards and no security procedures for employees.
- Attacks or incidents in a parking lot, ramp, or garage where cameras are disabled or nonexistent, facilities fail to employ someone to patrol, or the space is poorly lit.
- Injuries to attendees at a concert, sports match, or another entertainment event because of overcrowding and poor access to safety exits. See: Astroworld Festival crowd crush, the Station Nightclub fire, or the City College stadium stampede.
- Healthcare workers harassed and assaulted by patients who are known to be violent. In one case, a doctor was stabbed repeatedly by a psychiatric patient until she managed to flee. The doctor’s lawyers said no one on staff alerted hospital security or seemed to know how to respond to a violent incident. No guards were stationed on the floor, and there were no panic buttons in or just outside the patient’s room.
Pursuing a Negligent Security Case
- Property owners
- State or municipal governments
- Security companies
- Property management companies
- Landscaping companies
- Parking lot management companies
If you have been injured or attacked due to negligent security, the first step is to get to safety and make sure any injuries are treated. Here are some next steps:
- Call the police or 911. Ask for a copy of the incident report while the police are still on the scene.
- Depending on where the incident took place, a security officer, store manager, or another official may also file an incident report. Ask the security officer and/or store manager for a copy of their incident reports before leaving.
- DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING until you’ve spoken to a lawyer who represents you. This includes incident reports and anything from the property owner’s insurance company.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can help you avoid exposing yourself to unnecessary legal risk and advise you on your legal options.
- Take photos or videos at the site of the incident. Photos showing your injuries or your surroundings at the time of the incident can be helpful in legal proceedings. A security review conducted after the fact may not correctly reflect the conditions at the time you were hurt. (For example, a poorly lit parking lot will not seem as threatening if photographed during the day versus during a stormy night.)
- If there are other witnesses to the incident, get their names and contact information.
BY THE NUMBERS
Healthcare workers are four times more likely to experience intentional workplace violence than workers in any other industry.
Breakdown of Astroworld Festival
Lack of security protocols, adequately trained staff, and medical personnel led to the deaths of ten people during a crowd crush at a concert.