What Negligent Security Laws Apply to Florida Convenience Stores?
Store owners can sometimes be liable for injuries that occur to people who enter their premises. This is due to the fact that store owners owe a duty to entrants to ensure that their premises are safe. This duty to keep entrants safe on the premises also extends to protecting entrants from the criminal conduct of third parties on the premises. When a store owner neglects this duty, it is called negligent security. If a store entrant is injured due to a store owner’s negligent security, the entrant will likely have a valid personal injury claim against the owner. The following article will explore the concept of negligent security as it relates to Florida convenience stores specifically.
What is Negligent Security?
Store owners have a duty to protect people who enter their premises from being injured by the criminal conduct of third parties on the premises. The term “negligent security” is used to describe a situation where a property owner fails to take the appropriate security measures to ensure that entrants are protected from the criminal actions of third parties.
How Do You Prove Negligence in a Negligent Security Case?
Negligent security is a type of negligence case. As such, in order to establish negligent security, you must first establish the elements of negligence. These elements are:
- Duty: The owner has a duty to entrants to keep them safe from foreseeable dangers on his premises, including the criminal conduct of third parties.
- Breach: If the owner fails to adhere to this duty, he has breached this duty.
- Causation: There is causation if the owner’s breach resulted in injury to the plaintiff and this injury was foreseeable to the owner.
- Damage: This element can be proved by showing that the plaintiff suffered some specific damage or injury.
What Types of Stores Are Considered “Convenience Stores” Under Florida Law?
According to Florida Statute 812.171, a “convenience business” refers to any place of business that is primarily engaged in the retail sale of groceries (or both groceries and gasoline) and which is open for business at any time between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
This statute further asserts that a “convenience business” does not include the following types of businesses:
- A business that is solely or primarily a restaurant
- A business that always has at least five employees on the premises after 11 p.m. and before 5 a.m.
- A business that has at least 10,000 square feet of retail floor space
- A business in which the owner or members of his or her family work between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
What Kinds of Security Measures Must Convenience Stores Utilize to Avoid Liability?
Florida Statute 812.173 provides an extensive list of security measures that store owners can implement to potentially reduce their liability in negligent security cases. Some of these measures include:
- Security guards
- Security cameras
- Cash management devices (for example, drop safes)
- Lighting in parking lots
- Maintenance of an unobstructed view from the sales area to the outside
- A ban on window tinting that would reduce line of sight
- Silent alarms which are linked to law enforcement or a private security agency
- Proper training on security measures for employees
Florida Statute 768.0705 provides a presumption against liability in negligent security cases for store owners who substantially comply with the aforementioned measures.
Do You Have a Potential Negligent Security Claim? Contact Our Firm
If you have questions about a potential negligent security claim, please contact Rosen Injury Law, P.A. Our experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys can help you build a strong case and ensure that you are fairly compensated for any damages you have suffered.