Here in Central Florida, over the past year or more there have been rash of shootings in the commercial area on Colonial Drive (Highway 50), between Pine Hills Road and Kirkman Road. The most recent event was the murder of two men sitting in a Porsche automobile in the parking lot of the Mandarin Plaza shopping center. Mandarin Plaza, as well as several of the other shopping plazas in the area, features at least one nightclub. According to a story on the WFTV.com website, the owners of the nightclubs (and presumably the owners of the plazas) realize that a lot of criminal activity occurs in the parking lots outside these clubs. Apparently, some kind of effort is made to provide security, but obviously not enough. A business owner can be held liable for damages if he or she knows (or should know) that his or her business is the site of dangerous or criminal activity and doesn’t take reasonable measures to protect guests, patrons, or visitors. The amount or level of security must be reasonable in light of what is known about the risk of danger. Having one security guard on duty might be reasonable when there is little risk of crime, but would likely be entirely unreasonable if the business had been the scene of multiple attacks or murders. Apparently, the victims in the Mandarin Plaza shootings had a social media and community presence that suggested that they were modern-day gangsters. There might have been more to their killings that just a random act of violence. In such a situation, there might not be a viable negligent security claim. Nevertheless, many of the people shot and killed in Pine Hills in this area of Pine Hills are innocent and plainly at the wrong place at the wrong time, and deserve justice. If you have any questions regarding a potential negligent security claim, call Winter Park negligent security attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...Read More »
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