Carjacking Victim Awarded $4.2 million

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by Malum Prohibitum, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Lady stops at Riverdale WalMart at 1:30 a.m. and leaves child sleeping in car.

    :shock:

    When she comes back, carjacker is waiting and demands keys.

    Lady throws keys on ground and runs (yes, her kid is still sleeping in car).

    Carjacker shoots her in the back with a .380.

    Somehow, her kid is out before the carjacker drives away.

    WalMart must pay 4.2 million American dollars now because this happened in their parking lot.
     

  2. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Why?

    Why? What evidence was there that Wal-Mart was negligent? Did they turn a blind eye to crime in and around their store when they had the means to prevent crime there? (Can any private business ever really take enough precautions to prevent crime, such that you can say that this criminal WOULD NOT and COULD NOT have avoided the higher security measures and done it anyway?)

    Or is Wal-Mart guilty of being too big and too wealthy, so the jury decided to help them donate money to a worthy cause?

    I want our courts in Georgia to adhere to at least these two principles in premises liability cases:

    A landowner is not an insurer of the people who walk upon his land.

    If you do not put a stranger in danger nor restrict that person's ability to spot danger, avoid danger, and rescue themselves from danger, then you do not have a duty to rescue that person. It may be nice if you undertake to be your brother's keeper, but it is not required as a matter of law or social policy.
     
  3. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    Re: Why?

    According to news reports, Wal-mart had had a huge number of police calls to that store in just the past few months. They were aware of a large crime problem. Their company police was to have enhanced security in such cases, but this store chose not to follow the policy.
     
  4. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Having defended some premises liability cases in the past, I believe Georgia has some really screwy case law in this area. I may be overstating the case slightly, but, essentially, a landowner can be charged with liability for an invitee's injuries by a criminal third party if the landowner is aware of crimes in the area but has not taken steps to combat it.


    What steps?

    Maybe putting up "no gun" signs? :D
     
  5. ls1ssdavid

    ls1ssdavid New Member

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    I thought that the supreme court found "the police don't have a responsibility to prevent crime". If this is so then how is walmart supposed to prevent crime in there parking lots? They can't hire off duty cops, because still they aren't resposible to prevent the crimes... Are we to believe that security guards who aren't even LEO's that walmart should hire to prevent crimes but cops can't? It all doesn't make sense.
     
  6. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    David

    Cops don't have a duty to protect anybody because, well, because they're cops. Think of it as governmental immunity and a way to cut back on civil lawsuits that would otherwise burden the state (city, county, etc) every time there was a crime.

    But a Wal-Mart security officer will have a lot more power to stop crime in and around Wal-Mart than a cop will, when the cop is trying to guard an entire city or patrol zone. The smaller area each officer has to cover, the better. Three officers should keep Wal-Mart pretty secure-- one inside, one outside, and one to back-up whichever of the other officers has an incident or needs to take a break from his post for a while.

    Wal-Mart may be able to afford to put three security guards on duty at the same time. That's only about $50 an hour for all of them. In one evening hour, how much business does Wally World do? Ten thousand dollars? Fifty thousand dollars? A hundred grand? Either way, $50 an hour for enhanced security would be a drop in the bucket.

    Also, private security guards would not be subject to all the restrictions about not violating suspect's Fourth Amendment rights, First Amendment rights of group assembley, etc. They could be authorized to stop people without suspicion (so long as it was not based on race, gender, age, national origin, etc.), randomly search cars, follow people around and watch their movements closely, etc. Wal-Mart has a lot more power and legal authority to control what goes on at their private business establishment than the government's power to regulate people's conduct on the streets and in their own neighborhoods and homes.

    I'm not saying Wal-Mart is guilty, or that they should be forced to provide a very high level of security. Security is expensive, and inconvenient, and they might have perfectly legitimate business reasons for not making their customers feel like they're entering a federal prison when they enter a Wal-Mart. But I'm just saying that they have a lot of power to make their stores safer, if they chose to make that a priority.
     
  7. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: David

    Gunsmoker, you can't be serious about this part of your post. By stop, you mean forcibly (because anybody can stop someone voluntarily just to talk to them, even cops). If a private security guard stops someone without probable cause, it is a tort.

    Guess who has immunity from lawsuits and who does not based on a lesser standard then probable cause (and even if it turns out later that the officer was wrong, so long as he had some reasonable belief at the time)?

    Stop people without suspicion?

    Randomly search cars?

    Beyond the obvious problem of there not being enough private security guards in the entire state of Georgia to force either one of these two "options" upon people like me or you, what exactly is it you think will happen if they did forciibly pin me to the ground (still without suspicion) and lock me into their little holding cell in the back and then find out later that not only was there no suspicion but that I did not steal anything?

    How is that lawsuit going to shake out?

    Any ideas?

    The lack of immunity is why most security guards get orders not to chase or physically attack anybody who resists. They have to be very careful about doing that.
     
  8. ls1ssdavid

    ls1ssdavid New Member

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    Even if Walmart has security guards. If that Security Guard some how doesn't stop the crime is it still walmarts falt? I don't think so. Nobody can promise 100% security at all times. So how can the courts expect it? Even if lets say they are negligent and don't have enough security guards at a specific store. You take the chance of being robbed every time you leave your house. If it is that easy to sue a store because they didn't provide a secure facility... well then lets set up a few fake robberies so we can sue stores and get rich quick. See what i'm saying? It's the same argument as when the bugular brakes his leg b/c he fell into an empty pool while trying to rob your house, he can sue you. Or the woman that spilt coffee on herself at McDonalds. If it's that easy, well crap lets become even more of a sue happy society.