Florida Mall Shooting Points Up Business Owners’ Safety Responsibilities, Says New York Attorney Brian Orlow

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NYC Attorney Brian Orlow comments of a fatal shooting in a Central Florida shopping plaza has highlighted the issue of premises liability.

New York City Premises Liability Attorney Brian Orlow from the Orlow Law Firm

“The business owners have a special relationship with their customers and a duty to maintain a safe environment.”

A fatal shooting in a Central Florida shopping plaza has highlighted the issue of premises liability. Under the law, business owners have a duty to protect their patrons, guests, and visitors from foreseeable safety hazards.. If they know, or should have known, that dangerous or criminal activity is occurring at the site, they must take reasonable steps to remove and prevent it or face liability for damages.

An Unsafe Location:
According to a report by central Florida news channel 9 wftv.com on October 7, 2013, two young men in a Porsche were shot to death at 3 a.m. in the parking lot of an Orange County shopping mall. Dozens of people tend to congregate in the area after nightclubs close at 2 a.m. Channel 9 interviewed one local club owner who worried that business was suffering because drug use and criminal activity are common among those hanging out in the parking lot. He further stated that, although club owners had tried to provide increased security, it was not enough to curb the persistent illegal activity that threatens the safety of the mall’s innocent visitors and patrons.

“It’s a difficult issue,” said personal injury lawyer Brian Orlow. “The business owner or landlord is not the one who committed the crime and, in the past, they might not have been held liable. More recently, though, courts are increasingly willing to award damages if the evidence shows that the landlord knew or should have known that a crime was likely to occur on the premises.” Mandarin Plaza, the mall in question, has hosted more than its share of criminal activity. The Orlando Sentinel reports on October 6, 2013 five months previous to the most recent shooting, another young man was gunned down in the parking lot. His murder remains unsolved. One the victims of the October shooting had a criminal history, says the Orlando Sentinel. The Porsche they were sitting in when shot had been reported stolen and homicide detectives are exploring possible links between the victims and gang violence.

Understanding the Law:
Premises liability is a growing area in negligence litigation. “A business location that seems to attract people with drug problems and criminal backgrounds is a risky place for innocent patrons and bystanders,” said attorney Orlow. He added that shopping malls are among the most likely places for crimes leading to premises security lawsuits. “The business owners have a special relationship with their customers and a duty to maintain a safe environment. This is especially true when they know the area is frequented by people who engage in dangerous behavior.” In a premises security lawsuit, the plaintiff must show that the owner knew or should have known that the site was an unsafe environment for guests and visitors and that he or she failed to provide adequate security.

The attorneys at the Orlow firm are highly experienced in this type of lawsuit. If you or a loved one has been injured due to inadequate security at a place of business. Contact the Orlow firm for a free consultation. They operate three offices across New York City for your convenience. They can go to you if you cannot come to them. To contact the Orlow firm, call 866-959-7202.

Written by
Ruth C. Stern - October 22, 2013
Sources:
Orlando Sentinel October 6th 2013
WFTV October 7th 2013

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Steve Orlow
The ORLOW Firm | Personal Injury Attorneys serving New York City since 1981
since: 11/2010
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