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$________ GROSS REDUCED BY 50% Negligent security at mall - Unknown assailant steals plaintiff father's cell phone from belt clip as plaintiff is walking in common area of mall with family - Plaintiff chases after assailant and falls, suffering fracture of dominant wrist - Plaintiff father's 11-year-old child commences chasing assailant and father and also falls, suffering fracture of non-dominant wrist - Jury finds negligence, but no proximate cause on 11-year-old's case - Assailant not identified.

Union County

The plaintiff, a shopper at the defendant shopping mall, contended that, as he was walking with his family in the common area, an assailant suddenly stole his cell phone from his belt clip and ran away. The plaintiff gave chase and the plaintiff’s 11-year-old daughter also started running towards her father and the assailant. Both the father and daughter fell during the chase. The father fractured his dominant wrist and the daughter fractured her non-dominant wrist.

The plaintiff’s security expert contended that the defendant mall and its security company negligently provided inadequate security. The expert maintained that prior criminal incidents, both inside and outside the mall, should have put the defendants on notice that better security was necessary. The defendants contended that the prior incidents, referred to by the plaintiff, related to more typical infractions, such a shoplifting and similar offenses and denied that it had notice of similar prior incidents. The plaintiffs further testified that after the incident, they saw a security guard who told them that he saw the incident unfold. The plaintiff contended that the guard should have intervened.

The defendants denied that this testimony should be accepted. The defendant maintained that although the father accurately described the while shirt and dark pants worn by their guards, the daughter did not and that in view of such discrepancy, the plaintiff’s position should be rejected. The defendant further argued that the jury should consider that the injuries occurred as the plaintiffs father and daughter were giving chase and not during an actual assault, arguing that it would be very difficult to prevent such injuries under these circumstances.

The father required an open reduction and the insertion of hardware. He contended that he will suffer permanent pain and weakness. The daughter’s fracture was treated with a closed reduction. The daughter claimed some permanent pain and weakness as well.

The jury, as to the father’s case, found the defendants 50% negligent, the plaintiff 50% comparatively negligent and rendered a gross award of $________ for medical bills only. The jury, on the daughter’s case, found that the defendants were negligent, but that there was an absence of proximate cause.

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