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DEFENDANT’S Premises Liability – Negligent security – Elderly plaintiff assaulted by a robber in a parking lot while a business invitee of defendant’s property – Failure to provide proper and adequate security – Hip fracture – Surgery required.

Allegheny County, PA

In this premises liability action, the plaintiff maintained that the defendant property owner failed to provide proper and adequate security at the mall where the plaintiff was a business invitee. While the plaintiff was placing items in the trunk of the car, she was thrown to the ground, and her purse was stolen. The plaintiff suffered serious injuries in the assault. The defendant argued that it was the action of the criminal only that caused the incident, and that the defendant acted properly and was not negligent.

On November 28, ________, the 78-year-old female plaintiff had just finished shopping at the defendant’s mall and was walking to her vehicle in the parking lot when she was assaulted and thrown to the ground by an unknown assailant, who stole the plaintiff’s purse. The plaintiff maintained that the defendant mall owners and property defendants failed to provide adequate security, failing to make the area safe for business invitees, failing to initiate an adequate security program at the defendant premises, and failing to protect the plaintiff from a foreseeable assault. As a result of the incident, the plaintiff suffered a left femoral neck fracture requiring left total hip arthroplasty, left medial compartment, and patellafemoral arthralgia, aggravation of degenerative changes of the knee, contusions, and abrasions, as well as emotional distress. The defendants denied all allegations of negligence, and argued that proper security measures were in place at the time of the incident and that security had just patrolled the area where plaintiff was assaulted minutes before the assault took place. The defendants further argued that the incident with the plaintiff happened in seconds, and that the assailant was responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries, not the defendants.The jury found that the defendant was not negligent.

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