Do Property Owners Have A Duty to Use Reasonable Precautions to Safeguard Premises and Prevent Sexual Assaults?

J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo
Founder of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A.

Miami and Florida Sexual Assaults and Negligent Security Attorney J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo

Florida has an extremely high number of sexual assaults and rapes. Statistics provided for 2015 by the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement reveal the following:

  • 7,537 – number of rapes in Florida
  • 153 – number of rapes by firearm in Florida
  • 137 – number of rapes by cutting instrument in Florida
  • 5,898 – number of rapes by hands, fists, feet in Florida
  • 1,348 – “other” rapes in Florida

These statistics are appalling. In addition, a great number of sexual assaults are simply not reported, often out of embarrassment, humiliation, fear or threat.

Property Owners Have a Duty to Safely Maintain Premises

While it is not known how many sexual assaults and rapes occur as a result of negligent security, it is certain that negligent security contributes to the extremely high numbers noted above. Property owners have a duty to exercise reasonable care and safeguard the premises for residents, guests, invitees and others. Sexual assaults can and do occur on all types of property, including the following:

  • Private homes and estates, apartment complexes, condominiums
  • Hotels, motels, inns and short-term rental units
  • Bars, restaurants, taverns, drinking establishments
  • Nightclubs, gentlemen’s clubs/strip clubs
  • Public restrooms
  • Stores, businesses, office buildings
  • Malls, shopping centers
  • Parking garages, parking lots
  • Recreational vehicle parks, trailer parks
  • Outdoor camping grounds
  • Tourist locations and attractions
  • Universities, college campuses, fraternity houses
  • Gambling establishments, casinos, etc.
  • Arenas, sports stadiums, concert halls, venues of all kinds
  • Gas stations
  • In vehicles, taxicabs, trains, buses
  • Truck stops
  • Parks, museums, movie theaters
  • All others – these are just a few examples

The Duty of a Property Owner – Reasonable Precautions to Safeguard Premises and Prevent Sexual Assaults

The property owner has a duty to ensure the safety of residents, guests, visitors and others on the premises. As stated in our other articles on negligent security, there are many preventative measures that can and should be taken, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Ensure that the property is safely protected from intruders with properly installed and functioning gates, locks, fences, doors and entries
  • Security personnel, including security guards who continually patrol the premises
  • Security patrol cars
  • Install functioning security cameras in all areas of the property
  • Ensure that the cameras record the activities on the premises; save and catalog the recordings
  • Install a security office or booth on the premises
  • Security communications systems
  • Warning signs
  • Bright lighting throughout the property
  • Check the identification of visitors before they are allowed entry onto private property
  • All other reasonable security measures should be taken to safeguard the premises from sexual and physical assaults, robberies and crimes

Evidence That Supports Negligence on the Part of the Property Owner

In many instances the property owner knew or should have known that their property was unsafe for residents, guests, visitors and others:

Did the property owner know of previous sexual assaults on the property? Was there a reasonable certainty that the same type of offense could occur again? Did the property owner ignore the obvious? Were there reports of sexual assaults and other crimes on the property before? Were there known rapists on the property? Did the property owner allow registered sexual offenders on the property? Was this in violation of any local, county, state or federal ordinances or statutes?

Attorney J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo Represents Victims of Negligent Security

  • Victims of sexual assault resulting from negligent or nonexistent security
  • Victims of murder as a result of negligent or nonexistent security
  • Victims of shooting incidents as a result of negligent or nonexistent security
  • Victims of other injuries due to unsafe premises – premises liability actions

Since 1994, Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo has represented thousands of clients in a wide array of negligence cases in Miami, Miami-Dade County, Broward County and throughout Florida. He is an experienced  attorney and advocate.

Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo and his team of attorneys at The Law Offices of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A., will conduct a thorough investigation of all possible evidence pertaining to sexual assaults and negligent security. Police and security records with be reviewed in detail. Witnesses will be interviewed. Security tapes will be analyzed. Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo will utilize skilled investigators to uncover and analyze additional evidence whenever appropriate.

In many instances a settlement may be reached with the defendant’s insurance company and a trial will be avoided. If necessary, however, Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo will be fully prepared to take the case to trial for a verdict and award.

There Are No Legal Fees Unless Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo Successfully Settles or Wins Your Case

Compensatory damages often include medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, mental anguish, property damage, if any, and more. In instances where the conduct of the wrongdoer is egregious – and sexual assault often falls in this category - punitive damages may be pursued. There are no legal fees unless Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo successfully resolves your case, either by settlement or court award. In your confidential, no-obligation consultation, Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo will discuss your potential options. 

You can reach Miami Sexual Assaults Personal Injury Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at [email protected].

Source

http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/cms/FSAC/UCR/2015/CIF_annual15.aspx

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0768/0768PARTIIContentsIndex.html