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Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice Blog

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Liability for Mass Shootings

Could better airport security have prevented the Fort Lauderdale, Florida shooting?

Lives were lost and the nation left in shock after a shooter opened fire in the Fort Lauderdale airport earlier this month.  Security footage and witness accounts depict Esteban Santiago pulling a handgun from his waistband and opening fire on the unsuspecting travelers who were attempting to collect their bags and greet their loved ones.  Five people were killed in the rampage and several others injured.  As authorities continue to unravel the unfortunate series of events that gave way to this horrific tragedy, questions have arisen concerning the role of the airport in the shooting.  Many are left wondering, would better security in the airport have prevented the shooting?

Mass Shootings and Negligent Security

Mass shootings have become increasingly common in recent years.  Schools, colleges, night clubs, airports and other public places have all been the site of mass shootings.  After each shooting, the public and the family members of those killed are forced to question whether adequate security was in place to prevent such an occurrence.  

Negligent security is a theory of liability that falls under the realm of premises liability law.  Premises liability laws hold property owners accountable for certain torts occurring on their property.  The general principle is that property owners do not have a duty to protect against intentional harms caused by a third party, unless that harm was foreseeable.  If the harm is foreseeable, the property owner must take reasonable measures to guard against it.

With more and more spree shootings happening in schools, airports, and other locations nationwide, the foreseeability of such acts of violence is a viable issue to consider after any tragedy.  While no amount of financial compensation can bring your loved one back, civil suits against property owners that did not provide adequate security to prevent the loss of your loved one can achieve justice and help prevent similar deaths in the future.

Our NYC personal injury law firm offers its condolences to the families of the Fort Lauderdale shooting victims and are available to consult with anyone who has lost their loved one in a mass shooting or a police shooting in the state.


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