Can I Sue a Security Company for Negligent Security?

You may be able to sue a security company for negligent security if you sustained injuries on your or someone else’s property.

Potential Lawsuits Against a Security Company for Negligent Security

If you suffered an injury because the security company failed to provide adequate security on your property, you may have a negligent security and breach of contract claim. You may also have a negligent security claim if you sustained injuries on premises owned by someone else who hired a security company.

Actions That May Constitute Negligent Security by a Security Company

There are many ways in which a security company can be negligent. Here are a few examples:

Negligent hiring of employees. A security company should perform sufficient background and criminal checks to ensure that they are not hiring dangerous or violent felons. It should also confer with previous employers to see if the potential employee poses any type of security risk.

For example, if at a previous job, the security guard left his assigned post in a parking lot behind a downtown store. While the guard was in a nearby bar, someone attacked and injured a customer who was walking from the parking lot into the store.

The previous employer fired the guard for leaving his post. A routine background check would have revealed this. If the current employer did not perform a background check when hiring the guard, the company can be held liable for negligent security.

Negligent training of employees. A security company may have thoroughly investigated its job applicants but failed to train them. Handing someone a uniform and a badge without making sure that he has the skills to handle foreseeable circumstances is negligent training. It can subject the security company to liability for damages. 

Negligent supervision of employees. A security company should have protocols in place to make sure that the employees do their jobs correctly. If the security company does not keep track of how its employees perform, the company can be guilty of negligent security.

Let’s say that a night security guard is supposed to make the rounds every hour, checking to see that the doors are locked and that the building is secure. However, the company never verifies that these security measures have been implemented. Consequently, it can be held liable for negligent security, especially if someone gets hurt because of the guard’s negligence.

Negligent retention of employees. No matter how well the security company vetted, trained, and supervised an employee, the firm has a duty to remove dangerous employees. If the employer knows or should have known that the employee poses an unacceptable safety risk and does nothing, the company can be held liable if that failure to act causes harm to someone.

As an example, a security company hires a guard who must drive a golf cart-style vehicle while performing her duties. Despite her third conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol, the security firm does not fire her. As a result, she injures two people while driving the security company’s vehicle through the parking lot. In such a situation, the security company is liable for negligent retention.

Respondeat superior. Sometimes, employers have to pay for the harm their employees cause. The theory of respondeat superior holds employers responsible because they hired the employee.

If you need help determining if you have a case, contact a premises law attorney for legal assistance.  

The Four Elements of Negligence

We must prove four factors to win a security negligence claim:

1. The security company (defendant) had a duty toward the injured person (plaintiff). Georgia law requires security guards to “protect the asset under their protection.” They are to carry out such actions as are legal under state law for the security of the person or property under their care. If the security company was supposed to protect the person who was injured, the firm had a legal duty toward that individual.

2. The security company failed to fulfill its legal obligations toward the person or asset under its protection. If the security company did not take the required actions to protect someone within the scope of its duty, the company breached its legal duty toward that person.

For example, a jewelry store hires a security company to protect its employees, customers, and merchandise. However, the security guard on duty fails to take any action when he sees someone stealing a ring. This failure to act constitutes negligence.

3. The negligence must be the cause of the injury. The thief is emboldened by the guard’s negligence and brandishes a gun. He robs the store and shoots a customer in the process. The guard’s failure to act contributed to the shooting.

4. The injury must be preventable. If the guard had responded to the thief promptly, he could have prevented the injury.

Since the above constitutes all four prongs of a negligent security claim, the security company can be held liable for the victim’s injuries.

Get Legal Help for Your Negligent Security Case

We provide a free consultation to determine if a security company’s negligence makes you eligible for compensation for your injuries. Call S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838 today for a free case evaluation.