This week we learned the Broward Sheriffs Deputies assigned to guard the baggage claim area of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Jan. 6, 2017 when a shooting occured that killed five people and injured another six, were not actually at their assigned posts. Instead, they were in a nearby office full of balloons and cake for a retirement party.
A Virginia Beach woman, who lost her husband in this shooting, is suing BSO, Delta Airlines and the security firms charged with protecting the airport.
The lawsuit asserts that in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, as her husband’s body still lay on the floor of the airport, she was hustled into that party room. She waited there for hours, she said, as law enforcement investigated the scene.
In the chaos after the shooting, she and another spouse of a shooting victim were shuttled from room to room inside the airport while police swarmed outside. One of those offices was festooned with balloons and a cake. The shooter pleaded guilty to the killings in exchange for avoiding the death penalty. He faces five life sentences at his Aug. 17 sentencing hearing.
That was the room where BSO deputies were celebrating a fellow detective’s retirement instead of guarding baggage claim when the shooting took place, the lawsuit alleges.
Airports, just like all other businesses, have a duty to maintain a safe environment. They have a duty to protect their customers/guests from any foreseeable crime or criminal activity, which means having security officers and security cameras.
Negligent security lawsuits matter because they hold the wrongdoer accountable for their actions. Whoever was in control or had the opportunity to use control of the property would be liable in a negligent security case. This could be the person or business that owns the property. In this case, the airline and the security company are being sued as being the responsible entities.
In order to successguly prove negligence, it depedns on what the crime was and if it could have been prevented. If it could have been prevented, it is relevant to establish whether the business or entity did anything in an attempt to do so. If the property owner knew of the danger and did nothing to protect people, then a claim for damages can be filed for personal injury or wrongful death.
If someone you care for has been injured or killed due to the action or inaction of another party, contacting our Florida Negligent Security Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you determine if you have a case for damages. Call us today at 866-608-5529 or contact us online for a free consultation.