On this page, our lawyers will discuss negligent security lawsuits in Chicago and how to get compensation if you have been victimized as a result of a property owner’s failure to provide adequate security. We will also look at the average settlement value of negligent security lawsuits in the Chicago area by listing recent verdicts and reported settlements in prior cases.
What is a Negligent or Inadequate Security Lawsuit?
Businesses and property owners (e.g., landlords, or apartment complexes, retailers, shopping malls, etc.) have a legal duty obligation to make sure that guests, customers, or anyone else on the property is reasonably safe from crime and dangers from other people. For example, property owners and businesses have an obligation to install security lights, video cameras, or other appropriate security features to help ensure the safety of their property and the people on it.
If a property owner fails to provide adequate security on their property, and a guest becomes the victims of a violent crime such as an assault, robbery, rape, etc., that guest can file a negligent security lawsuit against the property owner and get financial compensation for their injuries.
Here is a common example to help explain how negligent security lawsuits work. Let’s say Acme Management Company is the property manager for a large apartment complex in a high-crime area in Chicago. Jill is a tenant at the apartment complex. One night when Jill is taking her trash to the dumpster at the complex, she is kidnapped and raped. The perpetrator was able to access the apartment complex because the lock on the gate was broken and the area near the dumpster was very poor lit. Jill can sue Acme Management Company for negligent security based on the failure to maintain the gate lock and the lack of adequate lighting.
Types of Negligent Security Claims in Chicago
Negligent or inadequate security lawsuits in Chicago can be based on a variety of different circumstances, but they tend to fall into a handful of common types of categories. Below is a list of the most common types of negligent security claims in Chicago.
Defective or Inadequate Locks or Lack of Secure Access: Secured access is a very important security measure for certain types of properties, such as apartment complexes, hotels, or other places where only certain people should have access. These types of properties should have secure areas that are accessible only to authorized persons. This requires a secure, functional lock system.
Inadequate Lighting: In may seem basic, but making sure a property is well lit a night is a critical security feature. Adequate lighting deters crime. This is a frequent claim in negligent security cases because property owners and business often neglect to maintain lighting systems in outdoor areas, such as parking lots.
Apartment / Hotel Security: Apartment complexes and hotels are obligated to provide a higher level of security to residents and guests. Residential properties such as apartments and hotels should, at a minimum, have functional secured access systems, adequate lighting outside, video monitoring systems, and 24-hour onsite personnel. If tenants or guests become victims of crime due to a to provide these security measures, they can sue the property management company for negligent security.
Lack of Video Surveillance: Video surveillance monitoring system help deter criminal activity and enable timely help to be sent when something happens. Failure to have a video monitoring system can be the basis for a negligent security lawsuit.
Who Can You Sue for Negligent Security?
Essentially any company or person who owns or has legal responsibility for a commercial property can be a defendant in a negligent security lawsuit. There are, however, certain types of businesses and commercial property owners that make ideal defendants in negligent security lawsuits for various reasons. Below is a list of common negligent security lawsuits defendants.
Shopping Centers / Retailers: Retail shopping centers, such as malls, or outdoor retail plazas, and the individual retail stores within them have a legal duty to ensure that customers are safe on the premises, which requires them to provide reasonably adequate security measures. Adequate security for a shopping center generally means proper lighting for parking and other areas, video surveillance, and possibly security guards or limited access parking.
Apartment Complexes: Apartment complexes are typically operated by property management companies. These companies are common defendants in negligent security cases because certain apartment complex are hot spots for crime and apartments or other residential properties (such as condos) have a comparatively high obligation to provide security measures for tenants and their guests. Apartment complexes should have gated access to common areas, video surveillance systems (that actually work), adequate lighting, working lock systems, and even 24-hour security guards.
Hotels: Hotels or motels have a legal obligation to provide security for their guests. This obligation is very high, and it is comparable to the security obligation at an apartment complex. It typically requires lighting, video monitoring, 24-hour staffing, keyed access, etc.
Hospitals / Nursing Homes: Hospitals and nursing homes have the same legal obligation to provide security for guests as any other commercial property owner. Many hospitals are located in higher crime areas which makes them common defendants in negligent security cases.
Schools: Illinois law permits negligent security lawsuits to be brought against both public and private schools. Schools can sued for failing to provide security measures to keep students safe, however, the standard is harder because schools have to be accessible.
Settlement Value of Illinois Negligent Security Lawsuits
Negligent security lawsuits in Chicago (Cook County) have a relatively high average settlement value compared to other types of personal injury cases. This is primarily due to the fact that most negligent security lawsuits involve very serious violent crimes such a rape, murder, assault, etc. The potential damages for these types of incidents can obviously get very high.
Chicago Negligent Security Verdicts & Settlements
Below are verdicts and settlements from recent negligent security lawsuits in Chicago and the surrounding area.
$40,000 Verdict (Cook County): The plaintiff was a patron at a bar in Chicago when she was assaulted and choked by two other women who were also at the bar. She brought an negligent security lawsuit against the bar alleging that it failed to provide adequate security, failed to take preventive measures to prevent the escalation of physical violence, failed to call law enforcement agencies in a timely manner, and failed to come to her aid.
$33,907 Verdict (Cook County): The plaintiffs were patrons at a bar when they were randomly physically assault by another patron at the bar who was heavily intoxicated. They brought a negligent security lawsuit alleging that the bar failed to provide security personnel to protect them from other patrons.
$3,500,000 Verdict (Cook County): A 17-year-old male, died when he was reportedly shot by rival gang members following a basketball game between two Chicago public schools. A lawsuit was filed against the Chicago Board of Education for failing to provide adequate security for the game despite knowing that it was highly likely to incident violent incidents.
$32,163 Verdict (Cook County): A patron at a Casino in Chicago suffered a broken nose when he was assaulted by another Casino patron who was drunk. He sued the Casino for providing negligent security.
$59,970 Verdict (Cook Count): The plaintiff suffered several stab wounds while a patron at a nightclub in downtown Chicago. The lawsuit alleged that the nightclub negligently failed to provide adequate security, failed to provide adequate measures to control the actions and behaviors of its patrons, allowed a patron to attack and stab the plaintiff and allowed a patron to brandish a sharp-edged weapon onto the premises.
Contact Us About Chicago Negligent Security Cases
If you have a negligent security lawsuit in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois, contact our personal injury lawyers today at 800-553-8082 for a free consultation.