Inadequate and/or Negligent Security

When a business or private party has a gathering, and for whatever reason, engages a private security company to provide security for the event, it is incumbent upon that security company to do so without negligence. If they are negligent, either or both, the business or private party, plus the security company may be negligent for any damages.

An illustration or two will help to make more sense of this section. Let's say a wealthy private family has a party, and is afraid that someone may get injured at that party by an inebriated guest (or sober for that matter) who punches another partygoer. So the family hires a private security company to monitor events at the party, and prevent, or at least curb the damages from any fisticuffs, or other unruly behavior. So the security company decides it would be a good idea to force the party goers to go through a metal detector before entering the party. Despite the efforts of the security company, one of those invited guests has a four inch serrated knife in his pocket (which he forgot he had), which goes undetected by the security company. When a fight breaks out inside the house at the party, the partygoer with the knife, in a drunken state, decides it's a good idea to stab another partygoer, and flee.

In the scenario illustrated above, naturally the partygoer who did the stabbing is liable, but so is the security company, because they were negligent in their efforts to prevent weapons from getting into the party in the first place.

There are a number of coverage related issues also in the scenario discussed (which insurer is primary, will the homeowner's policy offer coverage?, etc.). Please, as always, contact personal injury attorney Roger Gelb to discuss your particular claim against a private party, business and/or security company.