Here at Giddens & Gatton Law,amp; P.C., we represent people in personal injury lawsuits throughout the state of New Mexico who have been injured because of the negligence or wrongful conduct of others. One kind of personal injury claim we handle is called premises liability.
Premises liability actions
Premises liability claims involve the duty of people, businesses and other entities to keep their premises reasonably safe for people invited onto the premises. The classic example of this duty is of a grocery store to keep floors clear of liquid spills and slippery substances so that shopping patrons do not slip and fall, which could cause injury.
In this scenario, if the store negligently failed to reasonably monitor the condition of the floor and clean up dangerous spills and objects, where spills foreseeably could cause shoppers to slip, fall and get injured, or failed to warn customers of spills, the store could be liable in a premises liability suit for the resulting injury.
Another type of premises liability lawsuit is the negligent security case. In this kind of premises liability claim, the owner or controller of premises owes a duty to visitors to keep it reasonably safe from foreseeable danger of crime, including the intentional violent acts of others. This kind of case typically comes up in hotels, clubs or bars, or dark parking lots, especially in high crime areas. In these scenarios, reasonable security might entail using security cameras, enhanced lighting or even security guards.
This summer, a New Mexico jury found an Albuquerque Allsup’s store liable for negligent security in the case of a man who in 2011 was allegedly targeted by juveniles in the parking lot for a ride, during which they stabbed him and took his car. KOB 4 quoted the plaintiff as saying that the jury evaluated the injuries as worth $2 million in damages and that the store was liable for 10 percent of the responsibility, or $200,000. Because New Mexico is a comparative fault state, the plaintiff was still entitled to recover for his damages, even though the juveniles were found to have been 90 percent at fault.
According to the Rio Rancho Observer, there must have been surveillance cameras inside the store, but there were no security cameras in the parking lot. The article cites the plaintiff’s lawyer as saying the store plans to appeal.
The juveniles were convicted for their crimes.
Anyone who experiences problems with dangerous conditions or inadequate security on the property of another should talk to a personal injury attorney about potential legal remedies.