Property Owners and Managers May be Liable for Wrongful Death of Burglary Victims
Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) May 21, 2012 – Tenants expect to receive a list of various services and amenities from their landlords.
Among these services is an adequate reasonable level of security. When a property's security is breached and a tenant is murdered during a burglary, the property owners and managers may be liable for the wrongful death of the victim.
Most tenants would like to believe that their neighborhood is safe. But for residents of senior assisted living communities, the facility’s security of a property can be a matter of life and death. Such security measures, like automated gates or even on site security personnel, may not be sufficient in securing the premises.
The daughter of a former tenant of an assisted living facility on N. Cleveland Ave in Chicago recently filed a wrongful death suit against the property's owners and listed their security company as a co-defendant. She claims the property did not have a “substantial amount of security” to protect her father, Harold Howell. Howell was beaten during a robbery in his Cleveland Ave apartment on April 7. His injuries proved to be fatal 11 days later.
Robert Briskman, a Chicago wrongful death lawyer not involved in this case said, “Landlords need to do everything in their power to make sure their property is safe. Safety is not just about preventing accidents, slips and falls; safety is also about protecting their tenants from outside threats.”
Chicago police are still looking for Howell's stolen Chrysler 2000 convertible coupe and the suspects believed to be responsible for the burglary of Howell's apartment and his murder.
While the courts will eventually decide on the property owner's liability in Howell's case, landlords and managers of assisted living facilities can learn from this event and take steps to prevent a similar tragedy from occurring on their property.
Chicago wrongful death attorney, Robert Briskman said, “Providing adequate security for the elderly at senior residences is especially important. If a landlord is contracting with an on site security company, they should perform internal routine audits to make sure the company is adequately securing the entire property. The landlord should also check to make sure that all security cameras, recording devices, and gates, and make sure all other security measures in place are functioning properly. You can never be too careful when it comes to protecting your tenants. Especially senior citizens.”
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