Inadequate Security A Basis For Premises Liability?

In our last post we discussed a dog attack which left a woman and a police officer seriously injured. Dog attacks commonly form the basis of premises liability lawsuits in Illinois. Premises liability cases are a subset of personal injury litigation in which landlords and tenants can be held liable for dangerous conditions that exist on their property.

Dog attacks and slip-and-fall injuries are the most common type of residential premises liability cases, but inadequate security creates legal issues for many businesses. Landlords are generally not liable for criminal acts of third parties on their property. An exception exists when a landlord is on notice that criminal activity is or may be afoot, and fails to take adequate steps to provide sufficient security for invitees.

One East St. Louis club may face a premises liability lawsuit after gunshots erupted at a “teen night” hosted by the establishment. East St. Louis-based “Club VIP” invited a variety of young patrons and apparently kicked some unruly individuals out. The ejected patrons went to retrieve guns and began firing into the crowd. Three men are dead and two others were injured. One of the gunmen also allegedly fired at police.

There was been pressure by communities throughout Illinois to limit the liquor sales and operating hours of nightclubs in order to prevent similar violence. The amount of security provided by bars and clubs has also been under scrutiny lately.