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FAQ - Losses That Occur on Properties

Question: Can a Student That was Attacked on a School Campus Hold the School Responsible for the Crime?

Answer: The school will be held to a standard of care. The university, college, or other school needs to exercise proper security measures to prevent victims being harmed by a third person. If it is shown that the school campus did not meet that standard and there is an issue of negligence in the prevention of danger, then the university may be held liable for the attack. One of the facts a court would look at to determine this liability is whether previous attacks, similar in nature, had occurred in the same area. Then, if it was determined there were previous, similar attacks in that area, the court would ask what security measures the college had taken, and whether they were insufficient, thus holding the college liable.

Question: Is a Bank Responsible if Someone is Attacked After Withdrawing Money From the ATM?

Answer:The question is one of foreseeablility: In this type of case, a judge or jury would look at whether the crime was foreseeable and if there were previous attacks. If one or both of the previous conditions was found to be true, then it is highly likely the bank can be found liable if they did not take sufficient security measures to protect the customers using that ATM from assault.

Question: If a Homeowner has a Birthday Party and a Guest is Injured, Who is Liable?

Answer: It depends on whether the injured person can prove that a homeowner was aware of a danger and failed to properly warn guests about the hazard. If a home owner learns of the hazard from another guest at the party, the owner has a standard of reasonable care to correct the dangerous condition or remove it if other guests are unlikely to recognize the hazard. As an example, if there is a rug that previous guests have tripped over, the host probably should have warned guests about it and secured it to the floor with tape or tacks and if that was not possible, then to just have removed it during the party.

Question: Is a Hotel Liable if Someone is a Crime Victim at or Near the Hotel?

Answer: The hotel is only held responsible if it is proven the hotel could have foreseen and prevented the crime (e.g., suppose the hotel is in a very high crime area of the city) either by taking more stringent security measures or providing guests with sufficient warnings. In this instance, the hotel has a general duty to warn you about any dangerous conditions including a warning about crime in or around the hotel. Also, the hotel's actions, or lack of, such as the failure to install proper locks on doors and windows, or to provide adequate parking lot/structure lighting, or to take sufficient measures to ensure that passkeys/room keys are not accessible or used by criminals; may make the hotel at least partly responsible.

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