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Negligent Security Seminar | March 2015

Florida personal injury lawyers



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    What Security Measures are Shopping Plazas and Malls Expected to Have in Place?

    A trip to a mall or shopping plaza is supposed to be a fun, relaxing experience—but unfortunately, these venues are often targets for criminals who pose a threat not only to businesses and their assets, but to the safety of patrons as well. 

    In an effort to reduce the risk of criminal activity at shopping centers and other commercial properties, Florida law imposes a duty on business owners to maintain their properties in a reasonably safe condition. This duty typically includes implementing adequate security measures, which may vary depending on the type of business, its location, and several other factors. For shopping plazas and malls, standard security measures that may be expected include the following:

    • Security cameras in key places, such as parking lots/garages, elevators, and near ATM machines. The cameras should be checked periodically to ensure they are operational.
    • Security guards. Whether they are mall employees or provided by a third-party firm, the guards should patrol all areas of the property for any signs of suspicious behavior.
    • Adequate lighting, particularly in stairwells, parking lots/garages, and walkways. Businesses should ensure that any burnt-out bulbs are promptly replaced, and may consider using light cages to prevent breakage.
    • Alarm systems to alert of potential break-ins.
    • Locking mechanisms for all shops and other businesses on the premises, as well as any areas to which access must be controlled. 

    If malls and shopping plazas fail to implement these measures and others that may be deemed necessary, they could be liable for negligent security claims. These claims arise when a patron or other visitor to the property is harmed by a third party’s criminal act, and brings a lawsuit against the commercial property owner under the theory that the owner breached their duty to provide adequate security measures and that this breach allowed the crime to take place. 

    At Leighton Law, we have over 35 years of experience in negligent security litigation, equipping us with in-depth knowledge of the different variables that impact these cases. Our attorneys are national leaders in violent crime victim representation, and Mr. Leighton is the immediate Past President of the National Crime Victim Bar Association.  His 2-volume book, Litigating Premises Security Cases, is the leading text for lawyers handling these kinds of cases. If you have been the victim of a crime that occurred at a Florida shopping plaza, mall, or other commercial property, our team is here to assist you. Call us today at 888.988.1774 to schedule a consultation!

    Article by:

    John Leighton

    A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite


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