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Premises Liability and Negligent Security: Issues and Implications

NCJ Number
Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice Volume: 7 Issue: 3 Dated: (August 1991) Pages: 167-193
R J Meadows
Date Published
27 pages
This analysis of 82 premise liability cases reported from 1985 to 1989 in the American Trial Lawyers Association Law Reporter concludes that premise liability cases may be the result of an extended pattern of negligence by corporate security managers and thus that security management should carefully consider liability issues and solutions.
The lawsuits studied were brought against commercial purveyors for failure to provide adequate security from third-party criminal attacks against business invitees or employees. The judgments and settlements in cases indicate that courts are sending a message to businesses that inadequate or lax security practices will not be tolerated. These cases revealed blatant security errors and management ignorance. Therefore, corporations must employ quality security managers who have proactive visions and who understand perimeter protection, crime prevention analysis, health and safety, and other aspects of security. They must also recognize that the test of reasonable security is not what other businesses provide or do not provide, but the security conditions of the particular business at the time an incident occurs. Not all businesses are expected to have highly technical security systems or guards, but security policies and practices will be scrutinized if a criminal incident occurs. Figures, chart summarizing the cases, 16 references, note, and list of 3 cases cited


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