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...Read More »
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