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Inadequate security, safety measures center of recent lawsuit

When an individual frequents a place of business in the state of Hawaii, he or she can expect to find a reasonable level of safety throughout that facility. That expectation can be extended to situations in which the facility is closed, a situation that forms the center of many premises liability lawsuits. When an injury or death results from inadequate security or safety measures at a place of business, the individual injured or the bereaved family has the right to seek compensation for their damages or loss.

Such is the case for a recent lawsuit in which a family in one mainland state is suing the business where their son was killed while attempting to steal building materials. The case has sparked a great deal of debate concerning what level of responsibility a business has to those who may visit a given location, even if that visit is for a nefarious reason. According to the family who has lost their 16-year-old son, the place of business where he was killed did not take adequate precautions to prevent such an incident.

Police believe that the boy and two friends went to a construction company's office with the intention of stealing metal rods. At some point, he allegedly began removing the rods from walls weighing nearly 34,000 pounds. Those rods were the structural support within the walls, and when one or more were removed, a wall collapsed on the boy.

Within the recently filed premises liability lawsuit, the family claims that the construction company had a duty to protect anyone present at their place of business. Because there was no fence surrounding the property, inadequate security may play a role in the argument. In addition, the suit claims that there were no signs warning that the walls could collapse if tampered with, and that the walls were dangerous due to the ease with which they could be destructed. For readers in Hawaii and elsewhere, the case serves as an example of the breadth that premises liability can span.

Source: myfoxchicago.com, "Family of boy crushed during alleged theft files lawsuit", , Sept. 25, 2014

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