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  1. #11

    Default Re: Can a Business be Sued for Failure to Prevent Robbery

    Quote Quoting maritx219
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    He had reason to call if for nothing else loitering.
    It doesn't become loitering just because YOU want it to. If the business/employees didn't have a problem with the individual remaining inside their business, then there IS no problem, at least as far as police are going to be concerned. They have the absolute right to allow as many creepy people as they want to wander around their store.

    You can make light of it but it is serious to me.

    No one's making light of anything. Unfortunately, quite a few (if not most) of the volunteers here have BEEN victims of crime themselves, an arguable factor in why they are here to assist others in the first place.

    If the police were called I wouldnt have left until they arrived but since they werent I couldnt spend the night there either.
    Again, until the actual moment that the robbery occurred, there wasn't anything for police to do or respond TO.

    Maybe he had no "legal" responsibility to make the call and I cant do anything about it but I can be angry. If nothing else we all have a moral responsibility to each other and if more people helped instead of turning the other cheek then maybe it wouldnt happen as much as it does.
    Ok. But this is a legal message board. You're asking a legal question, not a moral one. The legal answer is, as has been indicated; that the store had no responsiblity to summon police just because you thought another customer looked suspicious. Looking suspicious isn't unlawful, and if the business owner wanted to permit the customer to remain, even AFTER your protests, they have the ability to do so - even if police showed up. If you can prove that the employees knew or should have known that a robbery was imminent, by all means, bring a case against the store. There needs to be some circumstance that create liability for the business. Told them the guy had a gun? Mask sticking out of his back pocket? Heard him whispering about a robbery to someone else in the store? But it'll more than "weird feeling" - and a weird feeling that wasn't weird ENOUGH for you to do the prudent thing and leave (which is the exact point that the store's attorney is going to drive home to the jury - that neither you nor the store employees had ESP).

    I didnt say the clerk caused what happened but could have prevented it.
    The issue with cases like this isn't what could have been prevented. The legal issue that would be before the court in a third party liability case like this would center on two important factors; (1) whether a DUTY was established, and (2) whether that duty was breached. Both of these are taken in light of what a reasonable person would do under similar circumstances. The duty part comes into play when there is a CHRONIC disregard of things like security complaints (for example, if gangs of drug dealers habitually are allowed to congregate behind the building on the store's property, management has been made aware on more than one occasion, and no action has been taken). Note that a single incident of one customer who gives another customer the creeps doesn't get near that burden. On the breech side, convenience stores more than almost any other business, are intensely built around prevention and mitigation of robbery incidents - to the STORE. The lighting, cameras, ways the doors swing open, drop of the cash drawers, and many other minute details designed to curtail robbery to the store are everywhere. This case however, was about a robbery to YOU, inside the store. Which could have just as easily have happened outside the store, while sitting at a red light in traffic (great captive-audience victims totally off guard make for easy pickings), or in just about any other public place, whether inside a business or not. You are free to retain an attorney to try to make that jump for you - but sadly, the reality is that it would likely be little more than an expensive exercise in frustration. You can usually find at least one attorney to take such cases - they get paid whether they win or loose - so finding one willing to put in as many hours as you're willing to be billed for shouldn't be difficult.

    Also, I didnt say he could see into the future and knew it would happen but when I asked him to call the police he should have end of story.
    Ok. Maybe he should have. Bad karma on him. Still doesn't lend itself to a successful legal action against the store - not under these circumstances. If you've got the time, money, and gumption to wage an unsuccessful legal action against the store - maybe hoping to pressure them into settling for a pittance just to get rid of you - you have the freedom to do so. It is unlikely to produce the emotional victory, satisfaction, or financial compensation, you're seeking. It MAY provide you with a sense of being able to do something about the incident after the fact, and if that alone will bring you some peace, then by all means pursue it. Just be realistic about the process, the burden of proof, the time and money involved, and the likely outcome (whether by settlement or trial).

    Whether you believe in God or in evolution, or a combination of both, we have the gift of fear for a REASON (check out a book of the same name "Gift of Fear" by Gavin DeBecker, a leader in the field of personal safety and risk management - I highly recommend it). Be mindful of such feelings, and LISTEN to them. When people give you the creeps, walk out of the store. Take the next elevator. No one else's perceptions will ever be what yours are - and the only person you can force to act on your intuition is you . So be prepared to do so, and then ACTUALLY do so.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Default Re: Can a Business be Sued for Failure to Prevent Robbery

    I agree not calling the police is a bit suspicious and I have had the same thought. I am thankful the police didnt blow it off, my hell didnt end at the store it continued until they caught him. I guess small towns have the advantage of police being available when needed.
    And yes it is the typical response but he did nothing but watch. The whole thing is upsetting and maybe in time I will feel differently but anger and sadness consumes me right now.

    Thank you all for your replys. I may not agree but I do respect everyones opinions and input.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Can a Business be Sued for Failure to Prevent Robbery

    just a suggestion:


    While you may not think about it now, PTSD can be a very rough situation in the future should it show up. Counseling now might help prevent it. If nothing else, it might help with your anger issues.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Toledo, OH

    Default Re: Can a Business be Sued for Failure to Prevent Robbery

    I have been robbed at gun point. I understand the trauma quite well. I did not blame the gas station for being robbed. They did not rob me and they did not cause it. it was the guy with the gun.
    After I returned home from Germany, I went to work at a pizza joint near my University. I answered phones, made pizza, greeted walk-ins...and about had myself a heart attack the day a really large, really quiet dude walked in and put a gun in my face. I was 19 years old, and had never seen a gun up close before. I'm no shrinking Violet, but that scared the bejeezus out of me.

    I had screaming nightmares for months.


    While you may not think about it now, PTSD can be a very rough situation in the future should it show up. Counseling now might help prevent it. If nothing else, it might help with your anger issues.
    Quoted for truth.

    maritx, please see a therapist as soon as you can possibly manage. If you do not have health insurance, please look into community mental health services, or if you're a church-going/shul-going sort, please make an appointment to speak with your priest/pastor/rabbi. Your anger is understandable, but you cannot allow it to consume you.

  5. #15

    Default Re: Can a Business be Sued for Failure to Prevent Robbery

    You can also contact the DAs office or the police agency who did the investigation. and ask if they have a victim advocate on staff. If so, this person can help you to apply for crime victim compensation which can pay for that counseling for you. If your town or local agencies are too small to have a dedicated advocate on staff, you can contact the state level program via the Attorney General's Office:


  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Can a Business be Sued for Failure to Prevent Robbery

    Ditto. Why do you feel the clerk should have had an obligation to call, when you chose not to do so.

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