Negligent Security: Another Form Of Premises Liability


There are many types of premises liability cases in the United States ranging from slip and fall accidents, dog bites, and toxic fumes and chemicals. But there is one type of premises liability case that often leads to confusion: negligent security.

What Is Negligent Security?

Negligent or inadequate security is a type of premises liability case which seeks compensation from one individual to another for injuries caused by crimes and/or violent acts committed on that individual’s property. In many cases, it may be easier for the person who is the victim of a crime to sue or press charges against an establishment in which the crime occurred. 

Such cases of negligent security may be the result of assault, rape, or robbery. An individual is able to bring about a negligent security case when the landowner of where the incident occurred, did not have reasonable security measures to protect visitors from crimes of others. 

Under negligent security, it is assumed that had the landowner taken necessary protocol for security, the crime committed may not have happened or would not have been as severe. 

However, certain states have statutes in place to protect property owners from negligence claims by taking certain precautions. 

Who Is Responsible?

This depends. Commercial and residential landowners can, in some cases, be held responsible for negligent security but the responsibilities vary. Let’s look at examples. 

  • Attacks in a store parking lot. It’s the evening in the winter. It’s darker earlier and you work into the evening. You have to stop at the grocery store on your way home. Unfortunately while loading your items into your car, you’re attacked–a robber wants your purse off your shoulder. How is the store responsible? Had proper lighting been used in the parking lot, maybe you would have seen the perpetrator coming. 
  • Shootings and assaults inside a venue. Shootings can happen anywhere at anytime. But were you at a venue that houses hundreds of people yet doesn’t perform bag searches or security checks when entering? Were security or patrolling officers stationed at the event? If proper security measures had been in place, the shooter or attacker may not have even entered the venue. 
  • Sexual assaults inside apartment complexes. While the tenant has a responsibility to make sure guests inside his or her apartment do not get injured once inside, the apartment complex owner has a responsibility to ensure the safety and security of the building for renters and visitors.


In order to prove negligence against an owner, you need to prove the following:

  • The property owner has a duty of care to the victim
  • There was a failure to fulfill that duty
  • Because of this failure, the victim was harmed
  • The harm resulted in damages

Were you a victim of a crime and need guidance on premises liability charges?


If you or someone you know has suffered an injury because of a property owner’s negligence and you would like to learn more about your options, act now. Contact the Pennsylvania premises liability lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli now for a free consultation.

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