if my 2 daughters were assualted by a group of juveniles 5 months ago a mall/movie theatre, can I file suit against the mall and/or movie theatre for not providing adequate security?

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if my 2 daughters were assualted by a group of juveniles 5 months ago a mall/movie theatre, can I file suit against the mall and/or movie theatre for not providing adequate security?

According to our local police department, there were several incidents at the mall including a shooting last year and a fight just the week before. The youngest of the 2 took a pretty severe beating by 4 individuals. She is currently in counseling and under the care of a concussion specialtist due to continued headaches, blurred vision, balance and coordination issues. 3 of the 4 individuals that we could identify have been tried and convicted of aggravated assault. The 4th person will be in court on Monday.

Asked on June 23, 2015 under Personal Injury, Pennsylvania

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If your daughters are minors, you will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on their behalf because a minor cannot file a lawsuit herself.

You can sue the perpetrators for assault and battery.  Assault and battery are both civil (lawsuit) and criminal.  The civil and criminal cases are separate and proceed independently of each other.  You can seek punitive damages (a substantial amount of compensation to punish the intentional, wrongful, malicious acts of the perpetrators).

You can sue the mall and movie theater for negligence for failure to provide adequate security.  Prior to filing a lawsuit, it may be possible to settle your daughters' claims with the insurance carriers for the mall and movie theater.

Each of your daughters has a separate personal injury claim.  When each daughter completes her medical treatment and is released by the doctor or is declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain the medical bills, medical reports, and if applicable, documentation of wage loss.  The personal injury claims filed with the insurance carriers for the mall and movie theater should include these items.

Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of the injuries and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

If the case is settled with the insurance carriers for the mall and movie theater, NO lawsuit is filed.

If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carriers, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the mall and movie theater.  If a case is settled with one insurance carrier, but not both, only name the party with whom the case has not settled (mall or movie theater) as a defendant in the lawsuit.

If the case is not settled with the insurance carriers, the lawsuit for negligence against the mall and movie theater must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your daughters will lose their rights in the matter forever.


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