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Examples of businesses failing to protect the public

Raleigh businesses do all kinds of things to lure customers to come inside and shop, including eye-catching signs, billboards and attention-grabbing ads online and commercials on radio and TV. Sometimes businesses are not completely prepared for the potential customers they’ve invited, however, and those failures result in slip-and-fall accidents or other incidents on the premises that cause serious injuries.

Premises liability cases include a wide variety of injuries and hazardous conditions, including members of the public being hurt on commercial properties where there was uneven pavement, or holes in a parking lot, standing water, wet floors, insufficient lighting, inadequate security and more.

Sometimes the injuries in these cases are so severe and the negligence of the property owners so egregious that the compensation awarded the victims catches the attention of the media. A recent news article listed a number of those cases, including these two that involved inadequate security:

  • Last year, a jury delivered an award of $81 million to a young Navy veteran who was shot several times during a robbery and carjacking in the parking lot of a grocery store. He underwent 14 surgeries in two months, leaving him a paraplegic. Jurors heard testimony that management knew the store was in a high-crime area yet provided no security in the parking lot.
  • Also in 2019, a jury decided on a $5 million judgment – along with $50 million in punitive damages (punishing the property owner) – after a 15-year-old girl was sexually assaulted at a behavioral health center by an employee there.

Let us hope that in the future, no one ever has to endure these types of horrific experiences and that businesses learn crucial lessons about reasonably protecting the public they invite to their premises.

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