Monroeville Mall Shooting - In Pennsylvania a property owner has a duty to reasonably take measures to make their property safe for persons who come onto that property to conduct business. These "invitees" also need to be warned of any known danger.
It appears that the owners of the Monroeville Mall may have a problem following Saturday night's shooting.
Our District Attorney, Stephen Zappala, had, at least a year ago, told the owners that the Mall had become a hotbed for drug trafficking and suggested they consult with a security expert to help them alleviate this problem, thus protecting their shoppers.
Mr. Zappala's suggestion apparently fell on deaf ears, and as he said to the press, violence ensued.
Clearly, drug dealers are dangerous and prefer to settle their disputes via gunfire. Clearly, the Mall owners knew that their property had become a haven for drug dealers, not to mention a prior violent episode wherein approximately 1,000 youths were engaging in fights less than a year ago.
The three shooting victims, particularly the couple shopping at Macys, have a potential suit against the Mall owners claiming they failed to protect them from a known risk/danger. The law seems to be lurching towards greater protections of these business invitees, and hopefully they will immediately consult a lawyer.
They may be entitled to recover for their injuries in terms of medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. It would not surprise anyone if they experience substantial post traumatic stress.
The Mall owners should have taken greater steps to provide the necessary security that could have prevented this tragic event. The very fact that a 17- year old feels comfortable firing off a handgun inside a Mall is indicative that he believes there are no consequences for his actions. A belief that could have, and should have, been shaped by adequate security.
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