On November 4, a fight broke out in a McDonald’s. The fight began when a man started making disparaging comments about a woman eating dinner with her husband. An argument erupted and three employees, along with another woman, became involved before the fight moved outside.
During the incident, the husband claims he was struck on the back of the head and neck, and fell face-first onto the pavement. He now suffers from a traumatic brain injury and other injuries that have left him paralyzed. He is now suing McDonald’s over claims of negligent security and failing to perform criminal background checks on their employees.
The case sheds light on an area of personal injury law that does not garner the same kind of attention as car accidents or slip and falls. Under Pennsylvania law, businesses can be sued for a lack of security, giving this man a fair chance of success with his case.
What is Negligent Security?
Business owners are not usually liable for criminal activity that occurs on their property. However, they are responsible for providing adequate security that protects visitors to their property from injury or death as a result of a criminal attack. When business owners are negligent in this duty, they can be held liable for providing compensation to victims of crime or, in the case of wrongful death, the victim’s family.
Security Measures Business Owners Can Take
There are many safety measures business owners can, and should, take to ensure their patrons are safe. Some of the most common examples include:
- Sufficient lighting in parking lots and walking areas
- Closed-circuit television cameras and monitoring, as video surveillance is a great deterrent to a crime
- Adequate locks on doors, including bathroom stalls
- Security guards
- Signs warning potential criminals that there is active security on the property
As this most recent story indicates, business owners are also responsible for training their staff properly, and for ensuring they have performed adequate background checks on all employees.
Compensation in Negligent Security Claims
When a business owner is negligent in providing adequate security to keep patrons safe, there are many different types of compensation available. These include economic damages, or those that have a concrete dollar value, and non-economic damages, which do not have an actual dollar amount attached to them. Compensation available includes:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
These are just a few of the most common types of compensation. A qualified personal injury attorney can advise on all available damages in any specific case.
Were You Injured Due to Negligent Security? Our Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorneys can Help
When people are hurt due to criminal activity that could have been prevented with adequate security, they are entitled to compensation under Pennsylvania law. If you have been injured, call our Allentown personal injury attorneys at van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin. We understand the security measures business owners are required to take, and we know how to uphold your rights when they fail to do so. To protect your rights, call us today at (215) 486-0123 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.