Malls are a shopaholic’s dream location, a place where large groups of teenagers can hang out free of adult supervision, and where the majority of Americans buy their clothing, bedding, decorations, and more. Every day, thousands of shoppers walk through the doors of hundreds of stores on the quest for the perfect purchase.
Since malls and other stores are open to the public, it is important for their managers to develop excellent security methods so that the patrons are kept safe.
New York Law on Security At Malls & Stores
Negligent security in malls and stores falls under premises liability law that addresses crimes and violent acts. In premises liability, a property owner is responsible for any damages that as a result of an unsafe environment.
An injured person or the family of a deceased person, are able to file a negligent security lawsuit because of the duty imposed on the owners of the property to ensure a level of reasonable security in order to protect visitors from foreseeable crime. In order for a negligent security crime to be successful, the victim must prove that the owner of the property failed to implement procedures which may have discovered or prevented criminal activities, and as a result, the victim was injured.
Appropriate security measures vary from location to location. At this time, there are no specific laws regarding security requirements in malls in the state of New York.
In 2015, two individuals won a lawsuit filed against a Missouri mall for an undisclosed amount. The lawsuit alleged that the injuries sustained by the plaintiffs in a 2012 shooting at the mall could have been prevented, however, the mall failed to properly train their security guards. The lawsuit stated that the security guards on duty had hidden in a department store clothing rack instead of attempting to control the situation. It wasn’t until the police arrived that the shooter was stopped.
While there are no laws governing the security requirements for malls in New York, most malls take the safety of their patrons very seriously. You most likely have seen some of the following security measures during your own shopping trips:
- Security guards
- Cameras which have independent monitors at a security station
- individual locking doors for each store within the mall
- Well-lit hallways and parking lots
It is important that any security guards require proper training on how to respond to a violent crime and handle the situation until the police arrive. Most security guard training companies also suggest performing in-depth background checks on any applicants for a security guard position since these individuals will often be provided with firearms.
The Death of Andrea Farrington
Andrea Farrington was a 20-year-old woman working at a children’s museum at the Coral Ridge Mall in Iowa City on June 12th, 2015. Her co-workers described her as “an amazing, incredible person.” who loved her job.
Farrington had been working at the mall for around six months. During that time, she had become acquainted with Alex Kozak, a 22-year-old security guard working at the mall. A cousin of Farrington’s noted that the two were not friends, in fact, Kozak behaved oddly toward Farrington, leaving notes on her car and while working would just stand there and stare at her.
That Friday night, Kozak left his job and drove home to retrieve a handgun from his home. He then returned to the mall and shot Farrington three times in the back while she was working, killing her. He fled the scene and was eventually caught by police on Interstate 80 and was taken into custody without further incident.
Kozak admitted to police that the murder was premeditated although a motive for the killing was not released.
Contact A Premises Liability Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a violent crime while shopping in a store or mall, contact a lawyer at Banville Law today for a free consultation. Together, we will help you determine how to best recover proper compensation for your loss.
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