Family Sues Metromover, Security Company After Elderly Man is Attacked, Hospitalized
An attorney representing Eduardo Fernandez has filed a lawsuit against Miami-Dade County and the security firm responsible for securing the subways after he was beaten within an inch of his life by a homeless man during a strong-arm robbery. The family claims that the security in place in the terminal responded too slowly to the attack which should have been visible on security cameras. As a result, Fernandez was severely beaten and robbed. He was still in the hospital as of the writing of this article.
In this case, the family and Fernandez have filed a lawsuit under the theory of negligent security.
The 73-year-old man suffered a severe beating over the course of several minutes and the entire event was captured on security feed. Fernandez was on his way to work when he was attacked by a man on the subway. Video feed shows the man getting beaten up and robbed, the suspect walking away, and then returning to beat the man some more. The incident occurred only a week after two other attacks were reported at the same terminal.
Elements of Negligence
When a proprietor invites the public onto their premises, the customers have the legal designation of an invitee. Invitees have stronger legal protections than licensees or trespassers. It is assumed that when an invitee gains access to a premises, they are entitled to a safe and secure place to conduct their business. When a proprietor or property owner fails to secure the premises from preventable attacks, and someone is injured as a result of this failure, the property owner or proprietor is liable. In this case, the property owner is the government which throws a separate wrinkle into the case.
The plaintiffs are alleging two counts of negligence based on a theory of negligent security. Firstly, there were two attacks at the same terminal in the weeks leading up to the attack on Fernandez. That should have sent a signal to someone in control of the situation to dedicate more effort to patrol the area. That never happened. Had it happened, the beating would have been preventable.
The second element of negligence involves the sheer amount of time between the beginning of the beating and the end. Fernandez helplessly attempted to defend himself as he was robbed and the attacker then came back and began injuring him some more. During that entire period, no one intervened. Had they intervened, Fernandez’s injuries would not have been as severe.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that a proprietor, even the government, is responsible for ensuring the safety of those they invite onto their property. When they have reason to know that an altercation might occur (such as when two attacks were reported a week earlier), then there was something they could have done that they failed to do. That is negligence.
Talk to a Miami Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured on-premises due to a dangerous condition or negligent security, call the Miami negligent security attorneys at Payer & Associates today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.