Assaulted in a Las Vegas parking garage. Can I file a lawsuit for inadequate security?
In many cases, yes. Las Vegas parking garages are an extension of the venues they are serving, such as
The purpose of garages is to make it easier for customers to patronize businesses, and these patrons should expect a minimum level of security to protect them. If a person gets assaulted in a Las Vegas parking garage, the victim can argue that the venue was negligent under the Nevada theory of premises liability in providing inadequate security.
The plantiff’s breach was the cause of the defendant’s injuries; and
The plaintiff suffered damages.
In the context of a parking garage, the owner of the garage and the security company patrolling the garage owe a duty to patrons to provide adequate security. If a patron gets assaulted in the garage and sues the venue and/or security company, the patron (plaintiff) would try to show that the venue’s substandard security allowed for the assault to happen.
In determining whether negligence occurred, courts would look at the foreseeability as well as the preventability of the assault. Some of these factors may include:
whether the venue provided security;
what kind of security the venue provided, if any (surveillance cameras, good lighting, security guards, working locks, working gates, etc.);
whether other assaults happened in the garage previously, which would have put the venue on notice about the possibility of assaults;
what kind of neighborhood the garage is in; and
what kind of patrons use the garage (such as casino gamblers who may be carrying thousands in cash)
Both the plaintiff and defendants may hire security experts to give testimony on what type of security, if any, is necessary in a certain garage location.
Potential defendants in Nevada negligent security lawsuits
The security company patrolling the parking garage (if any), and
The individual security guard(s) on duty (if any)
Even if a single security guard was at fault for allowing the assault to take place, plaintiffs are encouraged to sue the security company and owner of the garage as well. Presumably, these companies have much deeper pockets than the lone security guard(s) at fault. And in many cases, an employer can be liable for the negligence of its employees under the Nevada doctrine of respondeat superior.
Potential damages in Nevada negligent security lawsuits
Depending on the case, plaintiffs may be able to recover compensatory damages for:
And if the court finds that the defendants acted maliciously or wantonly, the court may order punitive damages as well.
Statute of limitations in Nevada negligent security cases
Victims of Las Vegas parking garage assaults typically have two (2) years from the date of an injury to file a personal injury lawsuit in Nevada.
About the Author
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.