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  • #16
    Legal cases are too complex to analyze without knowing all the facts.

    Either this was a poorly-defended case, or else I'd be inclined to believe that there was more involved in the "expectation of safety" case than merely the presence of a camera that was not monitored. There would have also had to be shown some form of negligence with respect to this issue.

    Property owners do not owe a duty to anyone to assure their "safety". What they owe is a duty to:

    1. Take reasonable steps to discover criminal activity (and other unsafe conditions) occurring on their property, and...

    2. Either take reasonable steps to mitigate such unsafe activity/conditions OR to plainly warn persons of the risks.

    My thought is that the presence of a visible camera (drone or otherwise) would not be a sufficient showing to establish a "reasonable expectation of safety" (assuming the case is properly defended). There must also have been some showing of a foreseeable risk of criminal activity based on the mall's history, etc., etc., and some degree of negligence in how this was dealt with.

    Of course, we also have to remember that juries are quite capable of rendering verdicts that are not correct from the standpoint of the facts or legal principles. A case comes to mind...it's on the tip of my tongue...can't quite think what it was....Simpson somebody-or-other?
    "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

    "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

    "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

    "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

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    • #17
      Curtis, John and SecTrainer, I want to thank you for this latter exchange. I am now more determined than ever to find case law on this matter of reasonable expectation when visiting a merchant or other service provider.
      Enjoy the day,
      Bill

      Comment


      • #18
        Bill . . . . Here are some links on the issue of using drone cameras:

        http://www.video-surveillance-guide....-cameras-1.htm

        http://www.100share.com/Are-fake-video-cameras-in.htm
        Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
        Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

        Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Security Consultant View Post
          Bill . . . . Here are some links on the issue of using drone cameras:

          http://www.video-surveillance-guide....-cameras-1.htm

          http://www.100share.com/Are-fake-video-cameras-in.htm
          Thanks Curtis, it is appreciated.
          Bill

          Comment


          • #20
            Because customers (busiiness invitees) are invited onto a retailers property, the retailer also owes a duty to provide a safe shopping environment. This added duty in tort law is the result of a "special relationship" established by the courts which also applies to inn-keepers, public transportation, restaurants, theaters etc.

            Comment


            • #21
              I just read the two referenced links posted by Curtis and can't stress to much the caution NOT to post a sign indicating video is being monitored/recorded when it is not. This is misleading and most likely would lead to enhanced liability if sued over an incident involving CCTVs. Where notice signs are rewquired (and perhaps even where they are not) a sign to the effect of "Areas of this store are covered by Closed Circuit Television" alerts the customer but doesn't commit to 100% coverage or monitoring. At the low cost of functioning CCTV cameras today (as opposed to 25-35 years ago) there are few reasons not to install real cameras.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by John H. Christman View Post
                Because customers (busiiness invitees) are invited onto a retailers property, the retailer also owes a duty to provide a safe shopping environment. This added duty in tort law is the result of a "special relationship" established by the courts which also applies to inn-keepers, public transportation, restaurants, theaters etc.
                Yes, but there's a reasonableness test applied to this duty, as I stated, which limits its scope. That is, there is no duty in tort law under any "special relationship" doctrine to guarantee anyone's safety, nor could there ever be such a duty, or there would be no malls in the nation able to open their doors.

                I'd still bet at least a few acres of the family farm that there was some showing in the "drone camera" case of some degree of negligence under the reasonableness or "totality of the circumstances" test.
                Last edited by SecTrainer; 07-22-2007, 01:00 AM.
                "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                Comment


                • #23
                  Duty of Care

                  Here are just a few "duty of care" cases (there are countless). All of these case were reversed in favor of the plaintiffs.

                  McClung v. Delta Square Ltd. Partnership (Tenn., 1996)

                  This case presents the question of the continued viability of Cornpropst v. Sloan, 528 S.W.2d 188 (Tenn.1975), in which this Court strictly limited the duty of care owed by owners and occupiers of business property to customers. Here, plaintiff's wife, a customer at a shopping center, was abducted from the parking lot, and later raped and murdered. Plaintiff sought recovery against defendants, owners, operators, and tenants, based on negligence for not providing security in their parking lot....

                  L.a.C., minor v. Ward Parkway Shopping Center, 75 S.W.3d 247 (Mo., 2002)

                  LA.C., a minor, by and through her Next Friend, D.C., Appellant... v... Ward Parkway Shopping Center Company, L.P., et al., Respondents... SC83718... Supreme Court of Missouri... 05/28/2002... Appeal From: Circuit Court of Jackson County, Hon. K. Preston Dean... Counsel for Appellant: Scott A. McCreight, Michael S. Ketchmark and Joseph K. Eischens... Counsel for Respondent: Paul P. Hasty, Jr., Rebecca S. McGinley, David Curotto, Douglas R. Richmond, Thomas B. Weaver, Jeffrey T. McPherson and...
                  (This is a case where two Security Officers failed to act after pleas for help.)

                  Erichsen v. No-Frills Supermarkets of Omaha, Inc., 518 N.W.2d 116, 246 Neb. 238 (Neb., 1994)

                  LANPHIER, Justice... This appeal arises out of a personal injury action. Janis L. Erichsen, appellant, a customer of appellee No-Frills Supermarkets of Omaha, Inc. (No-Frills), sustained injuries as a result of being dragged by a car during an attempted purse-snatching in No-Frills' parking lot. Appellee Harold Cooperman owns the shopping center. Appellant sought recovery from appellees for negligently failing to warn her of prior criminal activity which occurred on "at least ten occasions" in...

                  Madden v. C & K Barbecue Carryout, Inc., 758 S.W.2d 59 (Mo., 1988)

                  These two cases have been consolidated for purposes of appeal. In Madden v. C & K Barbecue Carryout, Inc., plaintiff's cause of action was dismissed for failure to state a claim. In Decker v. Gramex Corporation, plaintiffs' case was dismissed on motion for summary judgment. The Court concludes that the petition in Madden was sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss, and that the affidavits in the Decker case, broadly construed, demonstrate the presence of a fact issue of negligence. Reversed...

                  Richardson v. Quiktrip Corp., 81 S.W.3d 54 (Mo. Ct. App., 2002)

                  Margaret Jaccard Richardson, Appellant... v... Quiktrip Corporation, Respondent... WD58884... Missouri Court of Appeals Western District... 03/29/2002... Appeal From: Circuit Court of Jackson County, Hon. Kenneth P. Dean, II... Counsel for Appellant: Donald Thomas Taylor... Counsel for Respondent: Diana Moore Jordison... Opinion Summary:... ... On May 14, 1994, Margaret Jaccard Richardson was raped by an unknown assailant in the ladies' room of the Quiktrip Convenience Store at 7201 East Front...

                  Zepf v. Hilton Hotel (2001)

                  On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, Docket No. L- 1429-98. James M. Hirschhorn argued the cause for respondent (Sills Cummis Radin Tischman Epstein & Gross, attorneys; Mr. Hirschhorn, of counsel and on the brief). Robert A. Porter argued the cause for appellant (Friedman, Bafundo, Porter & Borbi, attorneys; Mr. Porter, on the brief). Before Judges Havey, Braithwaite and Coburn. The opinion of the court was delivered by BRAITHWAITE, J.A.D. Defendant Hilton...






                  I use Fastcase for legal research. You can get 24 hour complementary access to look at these cases by clicking on the link and signing up.

                  https://www.fastcase.com/Corporate/Home.aspx

                  I do not not endorse or receive renumeration from Fastcase.
                  Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
                  Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

                  Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    For a thorough discussion of the "special relationship" duty see: DELGADO v TRAX BAR & GRILL, 36 Cal 4th 224; 113 P. 3d 1159; 30 Cal Rptr 3d 145.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      What's interesting about Zepf v. Hilton Hotel (2001) the employee (assault victim) had not parked her car in a company parking lot, did not avail herself to transportation (provided by Hilton) from the parking lot to her place of employment, and was not attacked on Hilton's property - but the Court found that Hilton had a duty of care.
                      Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
                      Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

                      Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by John H. Christman View Post
                        For a thorough discussion of the "special relationship" duty see: DELGADO v TRAX BAR & GRILL, 36 Cal 4th 224; 113 P. 3d 1159; 30 Cal Rptr 3d 145.
                        This is one of the cases we studied recently in a security law seminar and essentially articulates what I stated above, although it moves a bit beyond foreseeability by articulating a responsibility to take simple, nonburdensome actions to "respond to unfolding events". It's important to note that this case involved a situation in which an business proprietor had advance notice of an impending assault. Remember what I said about looking up facts!! Although the court discusses foreseeability in its discourse on the principles of a proprietor's "duty", foreseeability really wasn't even an issue here. The proprietor had every reason to know in advance that a fight was going to ensue in the parking lot of the bar, and did not take even "simple, nonburdensome" steps (escorting the assaulted parties, calling the police, etc.) to prevent it.

                        Delgado v Trax clarifies, but does not really articulate any new law. Duty to protect, whether characterized as "special relationship" or not (which is merely a matter of the degree of the duty owed, incidentally), arises from the elements of foreseeability and whether the proprietor took reasonable actions to mitigate the foreseeable risks. "Special relationship" may impose a higher level of care, but still does not imply a duty to guarantee anyone's safety from third parties.

                        Paragraph (f) is particularly relevant to the original question of whether the mere showing of a "drone camera" - by itself - would support a "reasonable expectation of safety". Quoting in part:

                        "Merely because a business chooses to have a security program does not signify that the proprietor has assumed a duty to protect invitees from third-party violence."

                        The placement of both "live" and "drone" cameras can obviously be a very legitimate part of a security program. The presence of a security guard, as paragraph (f) also articulates, also does not indicate that the proprietor has undertaken to guarantee anyone's safety.

                        It's also enlightening to review Security Consultant's cases, wherein the concepts of "foreseeability" and "negligence" (in response to foreseeable risks) figure prominently.
                        Last edited by SecTrainer; 07-22-2007, 08:55 PM.
                        "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                        "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                        "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                        "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Duty of care and forseeability lay a heavy burden on the security manager's shoulders. I firmly believe that anyone in a leadership position who decides to install dummy cameras without seeking a written legal opinion is suffering from terminal brain flatulance.
                          I sent an email to Ken Kirschenbaum, Esq., asking him to weigh in on this subject if he can make some free time.
                          In my consulting world, I've been asked that question several times and the only written and oral advice I provide is to seek written opinions from both legal counsel and the insurance carrier.
                          Enjoy the day,
                          Bill

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            in an ideal world the store i work as lp would have 2 lp staff but no such luck just me.
                            the cctv system instore is very good but 90% of my external arrests come from the shopfloor and i don't believe cctv is much of a deterrant as people assume that the system is not being monitered by scurity staff.

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                            • #29
                              I have never seen any information that correlates shrink and camera usage. In my personal experiences, I have never seen that installation of cameras serves as any kind of consistent deterrent. The fact that you catch so many people on camera stealing proves it does not really deter people from stealing.

                              I have always viewed cameras as a tool to catch people stealing. They do not solve any problems on their own, but when utilized properly, can greatly assist in getting your desired results. PTZ cameras make it easier to catch shoplifters than floorwalking. Still cameras make it easier to catch employees stealing than live surveillance.

                              The only time that CCTV needs to be monitored is when you employ people who are actively seeking to apprehend shoplifters. If you don't have those LP agents, you don't need to monitor your cameras regularly. Everything else can be recorded and viewed at a later time.

                              I have always preached that the real value in CCTV comes from usage by Operations more than LP alone. If Ops utlizes the cameras to review employee performance, and then follows up with employees to discuss what they have reviewed, they get multiple benefit from the system. First of all, they get to correct poor performance. Second, it lets employees know that they are paying attention at all times, even when they are not physically present. And third, it reinforces the concept that all of their actions, including theft, will be caught on video, and serves to help heighten awareness to reduce losses.
                              www.plsolutions.net
                              www.customerloyaltysolutions.com

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                              • #30
                                I share the view that CCTV usage does not deter theft in any measurable manner. Shoplifting stats prove that. However its a valuable tool on catching internal/external theft as well as some safety issues. However I have seen its shortcomings as well. Quite an LP (working alone or with no one getting floor observations) catch a subject conceal an item and head towards exit. Now they may even film the exit. Heres the problem. If you leave CCTV room to confront and arrest subject where is your unbroken observation? Time and time again I have heard seen and even scolded my own staff the violation of (steps) Loss Prevention principals. Yes 99 times out of 100 the subject still has merchandise and its good stop. What about that 100th time? 99 stops at about $75.00 ea and one bad stop for $100.000 Law suit!? CCTV is a tool (one of many) for catching theft internal and external it is not a deterant!
                                Last edited by panther10758; 07-25-2007, 05:42 PM.

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