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Archive for the ‘premises security’ Category

Premises security issues 3

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Brief legal note: Premises security cases are difficult to settle; there may be horrific injuries or damages. But the law is favorable to the defense in most states. Courts generally hold that property owners are not guarantors of public safety; they are responsible for reasonable security. And when liability is apportioned, a judge may well be reluctant to assign more responsibility to the property owner than to the assailant.

Are there crimes in the area? What kind? How close? How many?
What security features does the building have? What is the quality of maintenance? Do you screen building staff?

By the way, we’ve worked with a large building where one security staff member committed a theft and another was responsible for sexual harassment just short of assault. Reviewing the security camera record on that case, the victim should have pressed assault charges. While Workers Compensation might bar a case against the employer, it would not protect the security company, property management company, or building owner.

Another consideration: we see large office buildings where a whole floor or wing is unoccupied in the current economic situation. How are you protecting the property from damage? How are you making sure that tenants or visitors don’t gain access to that area, or drag a person into that area for assault or robbery?

Premises security issues 2

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This issue is heating up. We see seminars for the plaintiffs bar, and seminars by the defense bar for their clients.
I just looked at a survey that says hotels generate 22% of premises security cases, hospitals 5%, and residences 36%. The rest spread across offices, bars, colleges, and so on.

The cost of a settlement depends on how much injury is alleged. The painful equation is: wrongful death > rape > assault > robbery. But small cases can still hit six figures.

So now what?  What are the risk management steps to take before the loss?

Written by gbwinsurance

September 14, 2010 at 4:37 pm

More Property Manager liability issues

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If you own and manage property, which has other owners, do you have coverage for E&O that harms the other owners? (Probably not.)
Do insurance carriers offer varying coverage for property managers so you have to review the form? (YES.)
What is your exposure as the management company if a third party is injured by an attacker on a property that you manage?
More to follow…

Written by gbwinsurance

September 13, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Premises security issues

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This is a developing issue for property owners. While it’s most obvious for hospitals and large apartment complexes, it is a target of litigation against smaller entities as well.
The issue: You own property. A tenant or user, or unrelated third party, is attacked while on your property. They allege that the mugging, assault, rape, or whatever attack, is the result of your failure to control access, or screen visitors, or provide adequate security.
Some concerns:
1) What coverage, and what limits, should a property owner demand of tenants?
2) If you are the owner but have tenants and a management company between you and the lawsuit, do you have an exposure? (Looks like the answer is yes.)
3) How does the insurance company manage the claim? Settle immediately, devote extensive time to discovery, litigate to the last ditch?
4) How can you manage the risk in advance of loss?
More to come.

Written by gbwinsurance

September 6, 2010 at 7:36 pm