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Posts Tagged "acts"

What Is Constructive Notice In An Orlando Negligent Security Case?

Posted by on Jan 21, 2013 in Negligent Security

The Orlando Sentinel recently ran a story that I struck me as particularly instructive regarding Florida law as it applied to negligent security cases. The story involved the tragic death of one person, and significant injury to another, following a shooting at the NorthBridge apartment complex near the Mall at Millenia in Orlando. According to the report, law enforcement officials are not releasing the names of the victims at this time. The interesting thing to me, as an Orlando negligent security lawyer, was the second part of the Sentinel story, where the writer, Susan Jacobson, referenced another recent shooting in the same area around the Mall at Millenia. That shooting occurred at the Villages on Millenia, and involved another tragic, fatal shooting. One of the big challenges we face when we handle a Florida negligent security case is the issue of constructive notice. Constructive notice is the legal theory that can be used to hold a defendant accountable for information that the defendant “should have known” if the defendant has used reasonable care. Defendants in negligent security cases almost always argue that there is no way that they could have known that a violent act was going to happen to a victim on their premises. Constructive notice allows us to utilize data and other information regarding violent crimes and other activity in a certain geographic area to argue that a business owner in a particular instance should have anticipated a bad act and provided security against it. The news article referenced above, and that fact that there have been two fatal shootings in apartments near the Mall at Millenia in less than one month should move every apartment complex in that area into ACTION — beefing up security measures in every aspect of operations, in order to keep residents and guests safe from the kinds of crimes that are – now, very obviously — going on in that...

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Coverage Defense Can Be “Slap In Face” To Child Sexual Abuse Victims

Posted by on Dec 11, 2012 in Child Sexual Abuse

I saw a recent piece on the www.insurancejournal.com website that I thought was worth mentioning on this blog because it highlights a huge roadblock that is often presented in cases involving child sexual abuse. The underlying story was about a mediation that has been scheduled in a large child sexual abuse case going on in Montana.  The case involves more than 300 plaintiffs – mostly Native Americans – who claim that Roman Catholic priests and nuns sexually abused them when they were children.  As seems to be the situation in many cases involving allegations of child sexual abuse against the Roman Catholic church, the Montana litigation includes claims that church and religious order officials covered up evidence of sexual abuse instead of reporting it. While the issues in the Montana seem very familiar to those of us that follow these stories and handle child sexual abuse cases, the Insurance Journal story included mention of an additional dispute that can sometimes provide a huge practical obstacle in child sexual molestation cases.  In the Montana case, it appears that the insurance companies for the church and religious order are claiming that they do not owe insurance coverage for the claimed acts of abuse.  In plain terms this means that even if the plaintiffs prevail, they may have to hope that the church has adequate assets, or tithing income, to satisfy their damages. The story does not mention why the insurance companies are denying coverage in the Montana case, but a frequent reason for coverage denial in these cases involves common insurance policy language that excludes coverage for damages arising out of “intentional acts.”  Obviously, molesting a child is an intentional act, however these cases usually involve allegations of negligent supervision or negligent background checking. It goes without saying that any case involving child sexual abuse is a serious matter.  However, the way that these cases are often defended makes it critical that they are handled by experienced counsel.  If you have questions involving a Florida child sexual abuse case, call Winter Park child sexual abuse attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

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