On January 6, 2017, gunman Esteban Santiago-Ruiz opened fire in the baggage claim area of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Six people were wounded, and five people were killed, including 84-year-old Olga Woltering. Woltering’s family is currently filing a complaint against Delta, AlliedBarton Security Services LLC, Allied Universal Corp., Universal Protection Services LLC, the Broward Sheriff’s Office and the Broward County Board of Commissioners, which operates the airport.
One of the allegations in the suit is negligent security, which Woltering’s family believes contributed to her death. The complaint alleges that Santiago-Ruiz was illegally allowed to collect his gun, which he had checked before his flight to Fort Lauderdale, within the terminal to leave the airport. After retrieving his gun, he brought it to the men’s room where he loaded it, put it in his waistband, and brought it to baggage claim where he began shooting.
The lawsuit states that the gun should have been delivered outside the building. It also alleges the airline acted negligently, as Santiago-Ruiz had been disruptive on his flight to Fort Lauderdale, yet no red flags were raised, and he was allowed to collect his gun as if nothing had happened.
More about negligent security
When you visit someplace like an airport, store, or apartment complex, you expect the premises to be safe. You don’t—and shouldn’t—expect to be mugged or attacked. The owner of the property has a duty of care to you to ensure the safety of the property and guests and invitees to the property. If you suffer injuries, you may be entitled to compensation.
Negligent security is a special type of premises liability claim where a person is injured by a third-party on another’s property. In many cases the victim may be able to recover for his or her injuries from the property owner. Landlords, business owners, schools and universities, commercial and residential property owners, and others in possession or ownership of property may be found liable for negligent security.
Negligent security cases typically occur in common use properties, including:
- Shopping centers
- Apartment complexes
- Hotels and motels
- School campuses
- Bars, restaurants, and nightclubs
- Parking lots
Unfortunately, some property owners don’t put in due diligence to keep their premises secure. Simply hiring a security guard or installing a camera may not be enough to keep you from being victimized.
Examples of negligent security
When premises are unsafe, they can attract a criminal element. Following are some examples of failure to maintain adequate security:
- Inadequate background checks on employees
- Failure to install alarm systems
- Improperly trained security personnel
- Failure to install or maintain security cameras
- Inadequate or burned-out lighting
- Broken locks or windows
- Failure to hire security guards
- Failure to increase security measures following incidences of criminal activity
If any of these failures occur and you are the victim of a crime such as assault, battery, robbery, or worse, the person or persons responsible for the property can be held liable.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury or been the victim of criminal activity on someone else’s property, the Fort Lauderdale negligent security attorneys at Yeboah Law Group can help. We want to hold the guilty parties responsible. Contact our law firm at 1-800-TELL-SAM or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.