Articles Posted in Premises Liability/Negligent Security

Ashgrove Apartments, Stone Mountain (Google.com)

Ashgrove Apartments, Stone Mountain (Google Maps)

Local News

24-year-old Omar Moore was reportedly shot and killed during a robbery at the Ashgrove Apartments in Stone Mountain Monday morning, July 6, 2015.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, officers responded to a robbery at the Ashgrove Apartments, on Hambrick Road, shortly after 2:00am. Mr. Moore was apparently discovered in serious, but responsive condition at the scene. Mr. Moore was able to tell officers he was shot by two men in an apparent robbery attempt inside the unit. The victim was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he later succumbed to injuries. Mr. Moore’s children were reportedly inside the apartment at the time of the robbery. Their conditions have not been released.

Police are searching for the two gunmen.

Our Legal Take

As police continue their search for the two suspects, The Murray Law Firm is questioning whether a potential apartment security lapse may have contributed to this tragic incident.

How did the assailants gain entry to the property? What property access-controls, such as security guards, surveillance cameras, bright lighting, fencing, and gated entry, were in place and working at the time of the break-in?

What individual apartment unit security measures, such as deadbolts, window locks, security bars, door viewers, and alarm systems, were in place to protect the resident? Did any such precautions fail?

Generally, apartment owners are required to protect all residents and guests legally on the premises from any foreseeable harm.  Should the facts of this matter reveal that the Ashgrove Apartments owner and management company failed to provide adequate security, the family of Omar Moore may elect to pursue a legal claim for his wrongful death. Under such a claim, the Moore family may be entitled to substantial monetary compensation for: pain and suffering; past medical expenses; loss of wages and future earning capacity; loss of consortium; and emotional distress.

Given the complexities of pursuing such a potential case, it is imperative that the Moore family immediately retain an experienced attorney who can ensure the preservation of any and all evidence that may support such a claim.  Based upon its prior experience in handling apartment complex security cases, The Murray Law Firm suggests that photographs and a through, unbiased inspection of the apartment and property will need to be performed immediately, before any evidence may be repaired, damaged or destroyed.

We’ve Recovered Millions for our Clients…Contact us Now for a Free Consultation.

The Murray Law Firm has extensive and successful experience in representing victims of gun violence and apartment security negligence in the Atlanta area.  We offer our legal assistance, if desired.  We typically represent our Clients on a contingency agreement, which generally means that no fees or payments are owed until and unless we recover.  Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us via e-mail (click here) or by telephone at 404.842.1600. Consultations are free and confidential.
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Choosing the Right Attorney

Selecting the right attorney for you or your family is highly important. You must feel confident that the attorney you hire has a complete understanding of the law applicable to your particular case, and has successful experience in handling such cases.

Important: Do not hire a lawyer who has violated the Rules of Professional Conduct!!!

You should not hire an attorney who calls you or visits you unsolicited, or anyone that contacts you directly to offer legal services. This activity is strictly prohibited by Rule 7.3 of the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct, which states as follows:

ABA Center for Professional ResponsibilityA LAWYER “SHALL NOT” CONTACT A PROSPECTIVE CLIENT THROUGH A “LIVE TELEPHONE” OR AN “IN-PERSON” VISIT.

– RULE 7.3, ABA MODEL RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT.

If an attorney, or someone acting on behalf of an attorney, contacts you in this manner, that attorney is in violation of this Rule. This unethical and unprofessional activity on the part of the lawyer is good sign that you should stay away. It is imperative that you are represented by an attorney who is capable of advocating for you within the confines of the law, and an attorney who fails to abide by the Rules of Professional Conduct is probably not the best fit. In fact, any such attorney should be immediately reported to the local State Bar Association. If you have been contacted in such an unsolicited manner, contact us and we’ll assist you in filing a report.

SAC EM Update

Nightclub Bar SceneThe DC Metropolitan Police Department has released their Best Practices for Nightlife Establishments report, outlining how nightclub owners can develop a safe nightlife atmosphere for patrons. While the full report addresses a variety of crucial nightclub security guidelines, including age verification, intoxication, employee training, and security procedures, this article specifically focuses on the DCPD best practices for preventing nightclub sexual assault.

It is your responsibility as establishment owners and managers to ensure that your customers enjoy the evening as safely as possible. These precautions help create a positive relationship between you and your neighbors, and they help ensure that your establishment is free from any illegal activity. –DC Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier

Developing a Safe Nightlife Atmosphere: Preventing Sexual Assault

  1. Management and employees can help to prevent their premises from being exploited by sexual aggressors, who may seek to take advantage of vulnerable patrons. Alcohol is the most common substance aggressors use to facilitate sexual assault. Both the aggressor and the target may have impaired judgment and lower awareness as a result of alcohol consumption, leading to a greater chance of sexual violation anywhere along the spectrum from harassment to violent assault. However, the environment around a sexual aggressor can make a difference in their behavior.
  2. Young women are statistically most likely to be the target of unwanted sexual attention and aggression, but it’s important to keep in mind that anyone may be a target, including patrons of gay establishments. Aggressors often present themselves as friendly, seeking to get to know a target, buying them drinks, or otherwise displaying a romantic interest. Aggressors may also engage in unwanted contact such as pressing up against someone on the dance floor, groping, or “up- skirt” grabbing. If bar staff notice any of these behaviors, it may be useful for them to ask the target if s/he would like any intervention and/or keep a close eye on the situation in case it escalates.Escalation can also take place off-premises. A common scenario is for an aggressor to initiate an inter- action on the premises, isolate the target from her friends, and then persuade or pressure the target to leave with him. Employees should be attuned to behavior that seems overly familiar or aggressive under the circumstances, especially if the potential target is visibly intoxicated or seems to be impaired.
  3. Establishment personnel should offer to call a cab for the vulnerable or impaired person, and closely observe as patrons leave to see if they seem to be able to navigate safely. Security personnel at the door or outside are well positioned and should observe when patrons leave. They should also take general note of whom patrons arrive with and whether they leave with the same group or someone else. Note that aggressors may seek to get targets drunk or drugged, encourage them to get some air, and then pull up in a car or hail a cab to take them away.
  4. If establishment personnel sense that something is awry, either when an aggressor is purchasing drinks for a potential target who is visibly intoxicated, isolating her from her friends, or trying to leave with her, personnel should make it clear to the aggressor that they have been observed by asking them in front of others how they’re doing or if they need some help. Staff can also use distraction techniques to separate the target from the aggressor, such as telling the potential target that her friends are looking for her. If possible, employees should make a note of the circumstances, the descriptions of the parties, or any other information that could become relevant at a later time. However, establishment managers and staff should make every effort to keep patrons safe and proactively intervene if they observe any suspicious or problematic behaviors.
  5. Encourage groups to designate one person as a chaperone and perhaps identify this person with a wristband. This person could be served non-alcoholic beverages at a discount for the night.
  6. For prevention of assaults on the premises, maintain surveillance cameras outside restroom doors, and consider employing a restroom attendant. Ensure that restrooms are used by the appropriate gender. If the restrooms are gender-segregated, monitor to ensure that men do not enter the women’s restroom (keeping in mind that some people who appear to be one gender may in fact be another). Surveillance cameras should be monitored throughout the night, especially near closing time. Ensure that storage areas and other restricted areas are kept locked and secured. Closed darkened areas create a potential danger.
  7. Support staff, including porters, barbacks, busboys, and kitchen staff, should receive sexual assault awareness training that will help them be aware of patron behavior and recognize potential perpetrator behaviors that may lead to sexual assault, especially as these employees work in or pass through areas that are dark or restricted. As part of their training, employees should be instructed to immediately report any suspicious or problematic behavior to a supervisor or manager.
  8. Establishments can send a clear message that there is zero tolerance for sexual assault by posting signs letting patrons know that their safety is a priority, and including on the signs who among the staff a patron can approach if they need assistance.
  9. Perhaps most important, management and employees should trust their instincts regarding possible predatory behavior they may observe. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. Management should communicate to employees, ideally by establishing a written policy, that they support proactive efforts to address suspicious, aggressive, or predatory behavior. If possible, employees should make notes of any situation they observed for later reference if needed.

    Visit DC Metropolitan Police Department for Complete Best Practices for Nightlife Establishments Report.

Victims of Nightclub Sexual Assault

By law, nightclub owners and managers are required to protect all patrons legally on the premises from any foreseeable harm. Should a nightclub owner or manager fail in this legal duty, victims of nightclub sexual assault may elect to pursue a legal claim for their injuries and suffering. Under such a claim, victims of sexual assault may be entitled to an award of damages that could include, among other items, substantial monetary compensation for: pain and suffering; past and future medical expenses; loss of wages and future earning capacity; disfigurement; and, mental anguish.

Photographs and a thorough inspection of the scene will need to be performed on behalf of the victim immediately before any evidence, such as register receipts or surveillance footage, may be destroyed. As such, it is imperative that nightclub sexual assault victims speak with an experienced premises liability firm immediately to ensure their interests are protected.

We are here to Help. Contact us for a Free Consultation.

The Murray Law Firm has extensive and successful experience in representing victims of nightclub sexual assault and security negligence in and we offer our legal expertise, if desired. Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us at 888.842.1616. Consultations are free and confidential.

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Young People Waiting Outside Nightclub

Following a spree of violent nightclub crime, which resulted in the death of two young women, the NYPD has formulated a set of best practices “in order to guide the nightlife industry in making itself more accountable and preventing the kind of crime and disorder problems that bring it into conflict with law enforcement agencies.”

The Murray Law Firm represents many victims and families who have been devastated by nightclub violence. It is our hope that nightclub owners and managers across the country will collaborate with their local police departments to implement the security measures and training necessary to deter crime and protect their patrons. We have highlighted some of the NYPD’s best nightclub security practices below.

Nightclub Owners: NYPD Nightclub Security Best Practices

  • There should be a minimum of one licensed and trained security guard in every premise when 75 or more patrons are present at the same time. For larger premises, there should be one such security guard for every 75 club patrons present. Discretion should be used by management to determine the appropriate number of security based on the event or crowd to ensure safety and lawfulness.
  • Security guards should be trained in techniques to de-escalate potential violent encounters and difficult situations.
  • Establishment policy should mandate that security personnel separate and remove all potentially violent patrons in a manner consistent with the law in order to prevent a continuation of violent activity inside or outside the club. Establishments must call 9-1-1 to report criminal activity and may call 9-1-1 or otherwise notify police for assistance in these circumstances.
  • It is recommended that security guards be distinctively and uniformly attired–that is very easily identified.
  • It is recommended that security guards be distributed evenly throughout the establishment and not just at the door.
  • It is recommended that properly working and maintained digital cameras be mounted in front of the establishment (both inside and outside), at all entry doors, and outside the bathroom doors.
  • It is helpful to learn if all of these efforts are working. To that end, establishments should hire an independent security consultant to ensure club security and to see that the establishment is adhering to other laws and policies, including laws prohibiting sales to minors.
  • Establishments should ensure that levels of lighting inside and outside the establishment are sufficient for observation by security.
  • All those awaiting admission should be placed in a line that does not block the sidewalk. All individuals in admission lines should be informed that if they are not orderly, they will not be admitted. Individuals who will not be admitted should be encouraged to leave the area.
  • At closing, security should ensure orderliness when patrons are exiting the establishment.
  • If metal detectors are used, every patron should be subjected to magnetometer searches in accordance with establishment policy. VIPs, DJs, entourages, and so on should not receive special treatment.
  • Spot checks of employees should be conducted to ensure compliance with establishment policies and applicable laws and rules, including integrity tests for false IDs and underage sales.
  • The use of ID scanning machines is strongly recommended. Although they do not reject legal IDs used by other individuals, nor are they foolproof in rejecting fake IDs, they are extremely helpful in recording who is entering the establishment.
  • Establishments should not admit anyone under 21, except for establishments operating primarily as restaurants during those hours in which meals are served.
  • If bottle purchases are allowed, establishments should not admit anyone under 21. Establishments must take sufficient steps to ensure that tables are closely monitored to prevent underage drinking or overconsumption.

Read All 60 NYPD Best Nightclub Security Practices: Formulating Best Practices for Nightlife Establishments

Police & Nightclub Owner Collaboration

Many local law enforcement agencies provide workshops and training seminars for nightclub owners, managers and staff. Nightclub owners should connect with their local police department to enroll in, or help create, a nightclub security and safety training program.

Victims of Nightclub Violence

By law, nightclub owners and managers are required to protect all patrons legally on the premises from any foreseeable harm. Should a nightclub owner or manager fail in this legal duty, victims and their families may elect to pursue a legal for any injuries or wrongful deaths, which occurred as a consequence. Under such claims, the victims may be entitled to an award of damages that could include, among other items, substantial monetary compensation for: pain and suffering; past and future medical expenses; loss of wages and future earning capacity; disfigurement; and, emotional distress.

Photographs and a thorough inspection of the scene will need to be performed on behalf of the victim immediately before any evidence, such as register receipts or surveillance footage, may be destroyed. As such, it is imperative victims speak with an experienced premises liability firm immediately to ensure their interests are protected.

We are here to Help. Contact us for a Free Consultation.

The Murray Law Firm has extensive and successful experience in representing victims of nightclub violence and security negligence in and we offer our legal expertise, if desired. Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us at 888.842.1616. Consultations are free and confidential.

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