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Grocery Store Held Liable for Death
Grocery Store Owner Held Liable for Death of Woman Abducted from Parking Lot This case documents how even unforeseen injuries caused by the criminal acts of an unrelated third party can create premise liability for the business owner. In this case, a seventy-nine year old woman was abducted from the parking lot of a grocery store. As a result of the abduction and attempted robbery, the woman died of asphyxiation due to the duct tape that was placed over her nose and mouth by her abductor. The woman’s family brought a wrongful death suit against the corporate owner of the grocery store. Both the trial court and the initial court of appeals (see 293 N.J. Super. 217, 679 A.2d 1230 (App. Div. 1996) found that the crime was unforeseeable and thus the store owner could not be held liable. These lower courts noted that no crime of this sort had ever occurred in the area. However, on appeal to the state’s highest court, the result was reversed and the store owner was held to be liable for the damages that resulted from the third-party attack upon one of its customers in the parking lot. The Supreme Court of New Jersey held that because there had been other crimes in the area (though unrelated) that the store owner should have patrolled the parking lot or at least warned its customers of danger in the parking lot. Thus, although the damage amount is not reported, the store owner was held liable for the wrongful death damages in this case. Based upon the egregious facts in this case (which might well rouse the sympathies of a jury), the damages would likely be substantial. (Clohesy v. Food Circus Supermarkets, Inc., 149 N.J. 496; 694 A.2d 1017 (Sup. Ct. N.J. 1997)
Security System pays for itself after McDonald’s franchisee discovers costly thefts
Sunday, May 1st, 2011 at 9:52 pm SAN DIEGO—Proving return on investment in the security industry can be difficult considering it’s hard to quantify events that don’t occur. However, Rick Crady, director of operations for Project M Worldwide, a McDonald’s franchisee owner, figures the company has already made back the cost to put in a new surveillance system after it discovered three of its store managers stealing large amounts of money, small sums at a time. “Those incidents paid for the entire cost of the three-year lease, so essentially the system is free,” Crady said. The company integrated a video surveillance system with its point of sale system to audit transactions in its eight franchise stores. Now, Crady and other executives are able to remotely monitor activity in the stores. The system, overlays the receipt of the transaction over the video footage, allowing owners to see exactly what happened during each transaction. In addition to monitoring the system
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Apartment Owner Pays $600,000 for Lack of security
Apartment Owner Pays $600,000 for Death of Tenant Blamed on Lack of Security The estate and parents of a woman who was abducted from an apartment complex and later killed settled their negligent security claim against the complex and its owner for $600,000. Chia Yen Hsu, then 30, was abducted, sexually assaulted, placed in the trunk of a car and drowned in a river by Rodney Bullock, who was arrested while driving Hsu’s car and pleaded guilty to the crimes. Hsu’s estate and parents then sued the complex, Cooper River Manor Apartments, and the complex’s owner, Metropolitan Management Corp., Bala Cynwyd, Pa., claiming that the murderer was aided by untrimmed shrubs, inadequate lighting and a lack of security patrols. The defense denied having any notice of criminal activity in the area. (Estate of Hsu v. Metropolitan Management Corp.)
Convenience Store Owner Held Liable for $1,875,000
Injury in the Workplace Convenience Store Owner Held Liable for $1,875,000 Judgment for the Death of Employee During a Robbery In this case, a corporate owner of a small convenience store in New Jersey was held liable for the death of one of its employees who was shot to death during a robbery of its convenience store. The robbery occurred during the middle of the day in an area that apparently was not considered a high crime area. Additionally, it appears that the store had never been robbed before. Nonetheless, the court upheld a jury verdict that found the robbery foreseeable - thus making the owner liable for damages. The jury awarded $300,000 for lost wages, $75,000 for pain and suffering, and $1.5 million for the loss of the decedent’s services to her husband and children. This verdict was upheld on appeal. Additionally, the court held that the convenience store owner was not immune or protected by workers compensation coverage. Hence, the corporate owner was liable for the entire judgment of $1,875,000. (Morris v. Krauszer’s Food Stores, Inc., 300 N.J. Super. 529; 693 A.2d 510 (Super. Ct. N.J. 1997)
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