Property owners, occupiers, and landlords in Michigan have a duty to keep their premises reasonably safe. In some cases, this includes a duty to keep the property reasonably safe from foreseeable criminal acts by others. If you or a loved one is seriously injured or killed by a third party on someone else's property, you may be able to bring a negligent security lawsuit against the property owner or a merchant occupying the property. At Neumann Law Group, our Detroit, Traverse City, and Grand Rapids negligent security lawyers can evaluate the facts of your case and represent you if you have a claim. Each year for the past several years, experienced premises liability attorney Kelly Neumann has regularly secured more than $3 million in personal injury cases.Holding a Property Owner Accountable for Negligent Security
Negligent security cases may involve negligent security personnel, a history of criminal activity on the premises, malfunctioning surveillance cameras, missing locks, improper lighting, or dangerous tenants. Your ability to recover damages hinges on your status on the property and your relationship to the owner or occupier of the property.
An owner's or occupier's duty toward you with respect to third-party criminal attacks is based on the special relationships that exist between landlords and their tenants and their invitees and between merchants and their invitees. In Michigan, an invitee is someone who comes onto the premises for reasons that would be either of mutual benefit to the owner and the invitee or of benefit to the premises owner or occupant. The benefit can be of a commercial, monetary, business, or another tangible nature.
As a tenant or invitee, you may have a basis to bring a negligent security claim against a landlord or store. If a third party commits a criminal act against a tenant or invitee, a landlord or merchant is considered to have some control, but it is limited because of the unpredictability of criminal conduct.
Under Michigan law, a merchant only has a duty to protect customers from third-party attacks if it has notice that a third party's criminal actions pose a threat of imminent, foreseeable harm to a particular invitee. The merchant owes a duty to expedite police involvement. Similarly, landlords have a limited duty of care to expedite police involvement if they are put on notice of criminal acts that present a risk of foreseeable, imminent harm to a tenant or invitee that can be identified. In other words, if a merchant or landlord is informed of an imminent threat of criminal conduct against an invitee or tenant but fails to contact the police, it may be liable.
In other states, the duty of reasonable care may include providing security guards and other protections whenever there is a foreseeable risk of a specific type of crime. In Michigan, this is against public policy because it transfers responsibility from law enforcement to private business owners. Past incidents of criminal activity in a specific location are not part of the analysis when deciding whether a particular criminal attack was foreseeable to a property owner or not. Similarly, if a merchant does voluntarily take certain precautions to prevent criminal attacks, a Michigan plaintiff cannot sue on the grounds that these precautions are less effective than they should have been.Consult a Negligent Security Lawyer in Traverse City, Grand Rapids, or Detroit
Criminal attacks can have tragic consequences. If you are harmed due to a crime committed on the property of a landlord or business, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible. The Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City negligent security attorneys at Neumann Law Group represent victims in Petoskey, Warren, Holland, Midland, Muskegon, Saginaw, Wyoming, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Flint, Ann Arbor, and communities throughout the Upper Peninsula, as well as in Massachusetts and California. Contact us at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form for a free consultation with an injury attorney.