I was attacked at a business. Is the business liable for my safety?

I was at a video slots store in Rock Island, Il. on August 19th, 2016. I cashed out my winnings and was immediately jumped from behind by someone who wanted my money. I was 71 years old. We struggled to the floor and then he escaped the building. Police and EMT’s were called. The attacker was caught about 2 weeks later. He is in custody.

Asked on March 31, 2017 under Personal Injury, Iowa

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A business owner's legal duty is to provide a safe premises for its customers; this includes a duty to protect them against harm caused by the criminal acts of third parties when those criminal acts are "foreseeable". And criminal acts are foreseeable when their occurrence can reasonably be expected under the circumstances. So, for example, in your case since you were at a "slots" store, if business owners failed to provide adequate security measures you were put at risk for attack. To not provide such measures could constitute negligence for which the business can be held liable. Such security measures might include hiring security guards, installing video cameras, maintaining sufficient lighting, keeping shrubery from growing too tall thus enabliing someone to hide behind it, etc. At this point, since this situation is fact so specific, you should consult directly with a local personal injury attorney who can best advise you further.


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