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Court rules Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood can be held liable for lax security

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  • Court rules Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood can be held liable for lax security

    https://www.kktv.com/content/news/Vi...506250651.html
    By Tom Ramstack COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Gazette) -

    "Victims of the 2015 mass shooting at the Colorado Springs’ lone Planned Parenthood can sue the reproductive health care nonprofit over what they claim was lax security, a Colorado appeals court ruled Thursday.

    The ruling reverses a lower court decision that said only the alleged shooter, Robert Dear, was liable for the deaths of three people and wounding of nine others.

    The surviving victims and families of the deceased argued in their lawsuit that the “long history of violence” at abortion clinics should have alerted Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains Inc. to take security precautions that might have prevented the shooting rampage.

    The appellate court decision did not say the victims would win their lawsuit, only that a jury must decide the outcome. "

    If I remember right one of the contentions in the original case was that they wanted to hold the donut eaters liable because if they had stormed the building instead of turning it into a hostage standoff a couple of people that bled out in the building wouldn't have.

    So I'm just curious to see how this affects the security idustry as a whole. I'm also curious to see how this would affect the right of an unarmed guard posted on a known dangerous post who gets hurt. Would the guard be able to sue his employer for putting him in a dangerous position with not only no means of defending himself but actually prohibiting him from doing so?

    I am very curious to see the outcome of this case.
    Last edited by Lunch Meat; 02-23-2019, 06:59 AM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Lunch Meat View Post
    https://www.kktv.com/content/news/Vi...506250651.html
    By Tom Ramstack COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Gazette) -

    "Victims of the 2015 mass shooting at the Colorado Springs’ lone Planned Parenthood can sue the reproductive health care nonprofit over what they claim was lax security, a Colorado appeals court ruled Thursday.

    The ruling reverses a lower court decision that said only the alleged shooter, Robert Dear, was liable for the deaths of three people and wounding of nine others.

    The surviving victims and families of the deceased argued in their lawsuit that the “long history of violence” at abortion clinics should have alerted Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains Inc. to take security precautions that might have prevented the shooting rampage.

    The appellate court decision did not say the victims would win their lawsuit, only that a jury must decide the outcome. "

    If I remember right one of the contentions in the original case was that they wanted to hold the donut eaters liable because if they had stormed the building instead of turning it into a hostage standoff a couple of people that bled out in the building wouldn't have.

    So I'm just curious to see how this affects the security idustry as a whole. I'm also curious to see how this would affect the right of an unarmed guard posted on a known dangerous post who gets hurt. Would the guard be able to sue his employer for putting him in a dangerous position with not only no means of defending himself but actually prohibiting him from doing so?

    I am very curious to see the outcome of this case.
    I disagree with referring to the police as "donut eaters", but it otherwise brings up a good point. I know that in Ontario, workplace violence (ie the danger of being assaulted killed by other people) is now recognized as a workplace danger that employers need to protect against; it used to only cover hazards such as machinery that was missing safety guards, wearing a hard hat/eye protection, etc...

    The problem with defining a "dangerous post" is that there is no exact definition of what a "dangerous post" is. Unlike police, where it is generally assumed that every police officer faces certain dangers, security is far more varied. For example, I used to work overnights at an office building. Quite often on camera I would see one or two cards in the otherwise empty parking lot and it was quite obvious it was a drug transaction. However, my post orders didn't say to do anything about it, so there was very little danger on my part. If, however, I was expected to approach them and tell them to "go away or I'm calling the police", then the level of danger on my part would increase substantially. If I was expected to arrest them if they refused to leave, then the level of danger on my part would increase even more.

    I've also found that the dangers that a security guard may face are not necessarily what they may face at work, but what they may face going to/from work. There are quite a few jobs that end late at night (say, midnight or 2am), and security guards often don't make much money so they have to take public transit and live in crappy parts of town. That can put them at increased risk of getting mugged/attacked.

    Comment


    • #3
      It is especially hard in at will employment states - you start making waves, you get fired. I have refused unarmed posts to my detriment, but I wasn't willing to risk getting my eyes gouged out on a mental ward for $12.50 p/h.

      I suppose a guard or a group of guards could file a complaint with their state's version of OSHA or Dept. of Labor, but the bar is pretty high and tends to favor businesses. You have to prove, through statistics and actual incidents, that the employer knew the risk to the workers and failed to take adequate steps to protect the workers. (Console's point is right on the money - hence the words we've seen in so many manuals and post orders, "Do not intervene, call your supervisor or 911.") The problem is, every time I've been put at risk, it wasn't me looking for trouble, it was literally walking around a corner on patrol and into the situation.

      It isn't impossible, though. Seattle recently passed an ordinance where female workers in hotels and other sites where they are at risk for harassment or attack working alone have to either have another worker in visual range of them or have a personal alarm that they can activate. The hotels are already fighting it, claiming it is too expensive. Employers with security would do the same - especially image conscious companies.
      Last edited by Condo Guard; 02-23-2019, 02:13 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        This whole thing reminds me of cases where judges ORDER various businesses to hire Security, but somehow ignore that its the police that are willfully not doing their job, or prohibited from doing their job by a judge.

        I put businesses in 3 general categories as far as "is hiring Security their responsibility, or should the police be required to protect them?"

        1)bars, amusement parks, concerts, ball games that "bring in trouble" that didn't exist before. Their job to hire Security, and/or pay for extra cops.

        2)fast food, cheap motels, Section 8 housing, Greyhound, etc. They are required by law to serve "the public" AKA The Great Unwashed on a wide open walk-in basis, so they should only be required to "take precautions" but shouldn't be legally liable when "the natives get restless".

        3)Pretty much all other businesses, who's target clientele themselves aren't known Troublemakers. This would include businesses that might have extra Security concerns, like Abortion Clinics or Jewelry Stores, but aren't in the business of making money off trouble causing clientele. Any lawsuits over "lack of protection" would need to be targeted at 'The State', perhaps taken out of Pensions of senior police and other "shot callers" in Govt such as judges and legislators. And good luck winning one of those, so it puts responsibility back where it belongs, on the voters.

        Of course, personally, as someone in the Security Biz, I'm all for as much Rent Seeking via courts as I can get.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rent-seeking
        Last edited by Squid; 02-23-2019, 03:24 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Consolewatcher View Post

          I disagree with referring to the police as "donut eaters", but it otherwise brings up a good point. I know that in Ontario, workplace violence (ie the danger of being assaulted killed by other people) is now recognized as a workplace danger that employers need to protect against; it used to only cover hazards such as machinery that was missing safety guards, wearing a hard hat/eye protection, etc...

          The problem with defining a "dangerous post" is that there is no exact definition of what a "dangerous post" is. Unlike police, where it is generally assumed that every police officer faces certain dangers, security is far more varied. For example, I used to work overnights at an office building. Quite often on camera I would see one or two cards in the otherwise empty parking lot and it was quite obvious it was a drug transaction. However, my post orders didn't say to do anything about it, so there was very little danger on my part. If, however, I was expected to approach them and tell them to "go away or I'm calling the police", then the level of danger on my part would increase substantially. If I was expected to arrest them if they refused to leave, then the level of danger on my part would increase even more.

          I've also found that the dangers that a security guard may face are not necessarily what they may face at work, but what they may face going to/from work. There are quite a few jobs that end late at night (say, midnight or 2am), and security guards often don't make much money so they have to take public transit and live in crappy parts of town. That can put them at increased risk of getting mugged/attacked.
          you use too many words dude



          Comment


          • #6
            That's the issue - should the business put in physical security measures or hire a guard(s) due to a risk they should be aware of? In this case, I'll be curious to see the defense. Yes, abortion clinics are controversial and attract trouble, even if it is just protesters. It will hinge on if the clinic had previous documented incidents, what the crime rate in the neighborhood was, etc.

            Business owners want ease of access, simple security procedures and a pair of rose colored glasses to put on to think everything is fine. Getting workers to do simple things like close doors after they've taken the trash out so I don't have to kick 3 homeless addicts out of the back hallway at closing time seems to be beyond their capability. And things like roll down metal doors or even a panic button gets resistance, because it "gives the wrong impression." (Yeah, I've actually heard that.)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Condo Guard View Post
              That's the issue - should the business put in physical security measures or hire a guard(s) due to a risk they should be aware of? In this case, I'll be curious to see the defense. Yes, abortion clinics are controversial and attract trouble, even if it is just protesters. It will hinge on if the clinic had previous documented incidents, what the crime rate in the neighborhood was, etc.
              that particular clinic had an armed guard. He had just gone off shift.

              I think it was about a year ago that a security guard was murdered in Denver while trying to kick a homeless guy out of a parking garage. Presumably the guard was in the parking garage specifically to keep the homeless out so,that was a known issue and the guard wasn't even provided with so much as pepper spray.

              Comment


              • #8
                If its not The Govt's job to protect 'controversial' Speech, persons or businesses from people who illegally use violence against them, then what is The Govt's purpose?

                Yes, I'm aware The Courts have ruled "The police do not have a duty to protect", and can only be sued if it can be shown they intentionally discriminated against some protected class or something.

                On a related note, I was appalled at how many Jr Cadet Cop Wannabes were saying things like "When I become a cop, I'm not gonna bust people for stuff like weed". Dude, its not your choice which laws you enforce, its the Legislature's. Your "executive" branch powers are limited to what you might call the "tactical" aspects. Sheesh, the plot of the majority of Westerns is "Lawman is confronted with personal moral dilemma and has to enforce law in ways he wishes he could avoid, but does it anyways."

                Comment

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