All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.
What is negligent security?
The landowner’s defense in a case involving negligence when failing to provide adequate security typically centers on whether the criminal act perpetrated by a third party was foreseeable.
Property owners have the ability to deter or help prevent violent crimes in restaurants, stores, amusement parks, condominiums, apartment complexes, hotels, parking lots/garages, stairwells and other property that is open to the public for business purposes. In cases of residential areas, property owners and managers owe a duty to their tenants to keep the property safe as well. The duty of a landowner or property owner to provide adequate security stems from Georgia’s premises liability laws. In Georgia, property owners are required to keep their “premises and approaches safe” pursuant to OCGA § 51-3-1, which encompasses the possibility of an owner/occupier to be liable to victims harmed by foreseeable violent criminal activity at the hands of third parties.
The landowner’s defense in a case involving negligence when failing to provide adequate security typically centers on whether the criminal act perpetrated by a third party was foreseeable. Examples of ways in which property owners and managers can be held liable for negligent security are the following:
- Poorly trained or inadequate security personnel
- Broken or unlocked gates, windows, doors and fences, allowing access to the public
- Broken, nonfunctioning, and/or poorly maintained security cameras
- Inadequate emergency exits or law enforcement callboxes
- Inadequate lighting