Florida law requires owners of certain public establishments, such as bars, apartment complexes, shopping malls, and office buildings to provide guests, patrons and employees with a certain level of security while on their property. When it comes to drinking establishments, like bars or taverns, it’s up to the property owners to make sure they maintain a “reasonably safe” environment for their customers.
This means that if the bar has the reputation of being rowdy or disorderly (and the owner knows or should know), then according to Florida law, that owner is required to provide adequate security to keep their guests safe. In other words, if trouble is “foreseeable” and can be prevented if proper security measures are put in place and the owner foregoes that responsibility and someone gets hurt, then the owner is guilty of negligent security and is liable for damages.
Business tavern or bar owners can be found guilty of negligent security and held responsible for damages incurred if:
- The bar or tavern has the reputation of being “rowdy” and the owner is aware of this reputation and didn’t put any preventive measures in place.
- Patrons become victims of violent criminal attacks while in the bar and adequate security measures, such as hiring trained bouncers, security guards, installing security video cameras both inside and outside, and keeping the parking lot well lit, weren’t put in place.
- The bar owner or its employees knew that a particular individual was a dangerous person, i.e., the individual had caused problems in the past at the bar or had a violent criminal record.
When property/business owners of bars and taverns fail to provide adequate security measures, patrons and customers are put at risk for criminal attack. Inadequate security has too often resulted in the rape, injury or death of innocent victims.
A bar owner is bound to use every reasonable effort to maintain order among his/her patrons, employees, or others who come into their drinking establishment. If a bar owner doesn’t and someone is hurt during an act of violence while on their property, the owner may be held accountable for injuries that resulted due to negligent security.
If you are a victim of negligent security, you may be entitled to compensation including: medical costs; lost wages; pain and suffering; and emotional distress. Negligent security is a very specialized legal area. Understanding the laws, regulations, and statutes of limitation can drastically impact your rights to any monetary recovery to which you might be entitled.
If you’ve been injured in a bar or nightclub due to the owner’s lack of security, you may have a bar fight negligent security case. It is imperative that you consult an attorney who specializes in negligent security claims. The Florida negligent security lawyers at Wolf & Pravato work with law enforcement, private investigators and security experts to maximize the compensation recovered for our clients.