Intentional Criminal Acts Premises Liability | The act of a third person in committing an intentional act (crime) is a superseding cause of a person’s harm unless the property owner / occupier / manager / etc. realized or should have realized that the likelihood of such a crime might have been committed against the injury (crime) victim | #KnowYourInjuryRights | (619) 550-3617.
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Negligence | Elements
The elements of a cause of action for negligence are well established. They are as follows:
- A legal duty to use due care;
- A breach of the duty to use due care; and
- The breach of the duty was the cause of the resulting injury.
Ladd v. County of San Mateo (1996) 12 Cal.4th 913, 917.
Premises Liability | Negligence
Premises liability is a form of negligence and is described as follows:
- The owner (occupier, manager, etc.) of a premises is under a duty to exercise ordinary care in the management of their premises in order to avoid exposing a customer to an unreasonable risk of harm. A failure to fulfill this duty is negligence. Brooks v. Eugene Burger Corp. (1989) 215 Cal. App. 3d 1611, 1619.
Business Proprietor’s Liability for the Criminal Conduct of Others
An owner of a business that is open to the public must use reasonable care to protect its patrons from another person’s harmful conduct on their property if the owner can reasonably anticipate such conduct. CACI 1005
A business owner is not an insurer of the safety of their customers but they are required to exercise reasonable care for the safety of their patrons and they may be liable for injuries resulting from a breach of this duty. The general duty includes not only the duty to inspect the premises in order to uncover dangerous conditions, but, as well, the duty to take affirmative action to control the wrongful acts of third persons which threaten their customers where the business owner has reasonable cause to anticipate such criminal (or negligent) acts and the probability of injury to someone. Taylor v Centennial Bowl, Inc. (1966) 65 Cal.2d 114, 121.
Example Scenario 1: Robert is playing softball at the Santee Sportsplex and begins to showboat. A player from the opposing team gets upset at Robert for his antics and begins to jaw at him, making physical threats against him. Sportsplex officials become aware of the players threats and intervene. They escort the other player (with all his softball gear, bat, etc.) from the fields but not from their parking lot. This other player had, had a history of making similar threats, on a weekly basis, to other players but it had never escalated to the point that it had been needed that this player be escorted out of the fields. Robert continues to play and drink after the game at the Sportsplex. After Robert finishes, he walks out of the fields and to his car where he is confronted by this other player. The player hits him with a bat rendering Robert unconscious and breaking his jaw. Robert now has a closed heard injury and suffering the residual symptoms of headaches, dizziness and a loss of concentration. Here, it would be argued by my office that the Santee Sportsplex was under a duty to protect Robert from this menacing player who had, had a history of physical threats against others since they were aware not only of his current threats but others. They failed to protect Robert when they failed to escort the player out of the Sportsplex property in its entirety, breached their duty to inspect their parking lot where they would have discovered that this player was still angry and waiting for Robert to attack him.
Intentional Criminal Acts Premises Liability | Jury Question
Once a court finds that the defendant was under a duty to protect the victim, it is for the fact finder to decide whether the security measures were reasonable under the circumstances. The jury must decide whether the security was adequate. Isaacs v. Huntington Memorial Hospital (1985) 38 Cal.3d 112, 131.
Ordaz Law, APC | Intentional Criminal Acts Premises Liability
Have you or a love one been an injury victim of an intentional criminal acts premises liability? Do you feel like you are entitled to injury compensation for the pain and suffering you have suffered? If your answer to both questions is yes, then it is time that you seek legal representation from a premier San Diego personal injury lawyer. Based in central San Diego County, Juan J. Ordaz Jr. and his law office, Ordaz Law, APC, is always ready to help any individual and their families suffering from an injury producing incident that should never have happened in the first place. Read More
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Blog: Personal Injury