Property owners in Georgia and around the country are expected to take all reasonable precautions to ensure that their occupants and visitors are safe, and they face the possibility of civil liability when their failure to meet this duty of care results in harm. The families of two doctors who were slain in their luxury Boston apartment in May claim that the tragedy could have been avoided, and they have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the trust that owns the loft building, its management company and the firms retained to provide security for residents.
The two doctors were found dead in their apartment with their wrists bound and their throats slashed, and the ensuing police investigation soon focused on a 30-year-old man who had previously been employed at the luxury building. Investigators discovered that the man had been hired shortly after serving nine months in prison for larceny. The families of the victims also claim that a security guard working at the front desk delayed calling police for 20 minutes after learning that an armed intruder may have entered the building.
The security company says that it performed extensive background checks before hiring the man, but the plaintiffs dispute this claim. They also allege that the building’s security could be circumvented by simply waiting for residents to enter or leave through an unguarded garage door.
Establishing liability in premises liability cases generally involves showing that dangers were known and injuries were foreseeable, and personal injury attorneys with experience in this area may study personnel records and hiring practices when building employees have acted negligently or maliciously. Failing to perform adequate background checks on potential workers could be used by attorneys to demonstrate a pattern of negligent behavior and a reckless disregard for the safety of residents and visitors.