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Robbery at Clark Atlanta University Highlights Importance of Adequate Security

January 04, 2013

College students may have many worries, including upcoming exams, research projects and less official worries like finding the best weekend party. Most students at the University of Georgia, Georgia State University and other college campuses do not worry about the possibility that they will be the victim of a violent attack.

Both parents and students may justifiably assume that college administrators will implement adequate security measures to prevent students from being assaulted. However, a recent attack at Clark Atlanta University provides an important reminder of the potential danger presented by inadequate security.

A female student on the campus was accosted by four men; one held her at gunpoint. The man with the gun ordered the student to hand over any personal possessions and threatened to shoot her if she failed to comply. While robberies are not a frequent event at Clark Atlanta University, it is notable that other colleges in the vicinity, such as Georgia Tech have increased security recently to reduce the risk of students becoming robbery victims.

When a university fails to utilize adequate security, the result can be severe physical injury and intense emotional distress. The female student in the recent attack suffered extreme emotional trauma and may not return to the college according to media reports. It is not clear whether the family will pursue a personal injury lawsuit based on negligent security, but the mother of the student has alleged that the university was not proactive enough about keeping students safe.

An assault, battery, rape or other criminal offense that occurs on the property of another does not automatically provide a basis for a personal injury claim against the owner of the premises. When those who come on a college campus are injured by a third party, the premises owner may be liable for a failure to take appropriate security precautions. Negligent security lawsuits involve investigation of a wide variety of issues, such as:

  • Crime patterns in the neighborhood
  • Nature of past criminal activity on the campus
  • Frequency of past criminal offenses on the school grounds
  • Scope of security measures implemented
  • Maintenance of any security equipment

Personal injury claims based on inadequate security are complicated because there is no clear standard for what constitutes sufficient security. The college or university must implement reasonable security protocols based on the nature and extent of the potential risk of violent crime in the area. These cases are fact intensive so it is important to obtain legal representation promptly. If the academic institution is a public university or college, there are special requirements and shorter deadlines for taking certain actions to protect your rights that may apply, so it is even more urgent that you do not delay in seeking legal advice.

Our Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to victims of violent crimes on the property of others throughout all of Georgia. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.