A lawsuit recently filed by a Jacksonville family whose daughter was shot and killed outside her apartment, sheds light on the responsibility landlords and business owners have in providing their customers and tenants with safe premises. This duty not only extends to preventing slip, trip and falls on the property- but also ensuring safety from attacks by criminals.

Landlords are required to exercise reasonable care when it comes to the safety of their tenants and others invited upon their premises. When landlords are negligent in maintaining the security in the apartments or condominiums they own, this negligence can put the tenants in a seriously dangerous situation and can result in injury, even death.

The lawsuit filed in the 4th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, alleges that the daughter’s landlord failed to exercise a reasonable standard of care that would have kept their daughter and other tenants, invitees, and the public safe. The family is requesting a jury trial and unspecified damages.

This case involves negligent security law, which applies to any property owner as to the standard of care that owner must exercise with respect to people who are invited to come onto their property. Negligent security law applies to owners of apartment complexes and condominiums, as well as cruise lines, hotels, restaurants and other businesses.

A business owner must provide their customers safe premises, which includes keeping the property and building up to code to avoid injuries and ensuring that the customers are safe from criminal attack. This standard includes apartment owners and the care they owe to their tenants. For example, landlords must make sure that the premises have adequate lighting and security. This includes ensuring that all broken doors and gates are fixed to keep the area secure, especially if the area is known to be one where criminal activity is common.

Parking lots are also common areas that are notoriously dangerous. Many times, not having proper security cameras in place or not properly maintained landscaping can make them even more dangerous. The duty of care can depend on where the premises are located. For instance, if they are in a high-crime area, the landlord will need to use more heightened security measures to protect its tenants. Measures such as locks, fences or gates, security cameras, even security guards could be needed.

An example where heightened security measures were necessary, involves a past case where a 13-year-old girl was shot and fatally wounded by a bullet after shots were fired from the outside into the apartment where she lived. The case brought out facts that showed that the apartment complex had been the subject of many police calls involving burglary, battery, armed robbery and even incidents where bullets were shot into apartments just three months before the young girl was killed. Despite all of this, the apartment complex did nothing to control the perimeter to the apartment and did not have security guards protecting the area. The case settled for $1.75 million at mediation.

Our attorneys have represented women, men, college students, university students, hotel guests, customers, cruise passengers and children who have been attacked due to improper or not-existing security measures. Our South Florida negligent security lawyers have successfully recovered damages for our victimized clients against owners and operators of businesses including shopping centers, banks, bars, hotels, restaurants, schools and universities, airlines, parking lots, condominium and apartment buildings, home owners’ associations, event promoters, night clubs, strip clubs, video arcades, bowling alleys, private security companies, daycare facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, office buildings and cruise lines.

Spencer Aronfeld is a Board Certified Trial Lawyer, and he and the lawyers at Aronfeld Trial Lawyers understand Florida’s complex personal injury laws. We have fought hard since 1991 to protect the legal rights of the injured. Contact us today and speak with an experienced Miami personal injury attorney toll free 1-866-597-4529, local 305-441-0440, or by email. We offer a free legal consultation at your home, office, hotel or hospital. Call us today, we are ready to help.