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Premises Liability and Negligent Security: A Business Owner's Obligation to Protect Its Patrons

Posted on in Premises Liability

Attorney Chris Hurley, Marques Gaines Press Conference, Chicago Personal Injury LawyerMore than 46,000 violent crimes were committed in the state of Illinois in the year 2014. These crimes – which include rape, murder, aggravated assault, and robbery – can occur anywhere, but they frequently occur outside of business establishments. In some cases, the owners of those businesses may be held liable under premises liability laws.

This is most evident in a recent lawsuit filed by Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. against 7-ELEVEN regarding the wrongful death of popular Chicago bartender Marques Gaines. The lawsuit alleges that the convenience store chain did not properly train personnel or provide adequate security during the store’s late-night hours operation. If you have been victimized and were going to or from an establishment, understand the rights and protections afforded to you by law.

Obligation to Provide a Reasonably Safe Environment

Because businesses and corporations profit from their patrons, they are, by law, bound to what is legally known as the “business inviter-invitee” relationship. In short, it requires that businesses and corporations protect their customers from foreseeable assaults and attacks. This usually applies within the store but, in some situations, this may also extend beyond the store’s doors to areas like parking lots and outside of store entrances and exits. If, for instance, the business operates 24/7 or in a neighborhood with a high crime rate, they may be required to provide extra protection as customers enter or leave the store.

Cutting Corners Puts Customers at Risk

Unfortunately, many businesses cut corners to avoid extra costs, thereby placing their patrons at an increased risk for assault or a violent crime. For example, they may install security cameras and post signs to deter predators but then fail to maintain those cameras. Or, rather than offer security in the parking garage where assaults may be common or likely, they may forgo protective actions altogether. Both situations could be considered negligent action under premises liability and place the business at risk for a lawsuit, should an attack occur.

Have You Been Victimized? Contact a Skilled Attorney Today

It can be difficult to determine for certain whether or not a crime committed against you outside of a business or organization falls under the laws of premises liability. And, because the law pertaining to premises liability is often complex, traumatized victims may struggle to navigate the legal process on their own. To make matters even worse, businesses and their insurance companies will do almost anything they can to blame the victims to avoid taking accountability.

At Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. we are proud to represent victims and their families in negligent security cases. Committed to advocacy and justice, we ensure your rights are protected and provide you with the experienced and aggressive representation needed to effectively navigate the legal system. Get the compensation you deserve. Call 312-553-4900 and schedule a free initial consultation with our skilled and knowledgeable Chicago personal injury attorneys today.


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