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The Columbiana Centre mall shooting that resulted in 12 injuries and the tragic collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Florida are classic premises liability cases. As a premises liability lawyer licensed in Florida and South Carolina, attorney Mark B. Stanley weighs in on each case, explains what premises liability means and gives a local example.
“I was shocked and saddened when I learned of the recent Columbiana Centre mall shooting. Gun violence and mass shootings have become far too common and continue to plague our community and society. We need more security in public venues and shopping malls to ensure the safety of the public,” says attorney, Mark B. Stanley of The Stanley Law Group.
Premises liability laws apply when an individual, known as a “business invitee”, is injured in a preventable accident at a place of business. This means that the laws apply not only at retail establishments like supermarkets, malls, shops, and restaurants, where business invitees visit only for a few hours, or even a few minutes, but also to places where paying guests stay for longer periods of time. Therefore, guests who are injured because of unsafe conditions at a hotel or vacation rental property have the right to seek damages in a premises liability lawsuit. Tenants in apartment buildings can also pursue claims against property management companies for premises liability if the direct cause of the injuries sustained in the incident was as a result of the unsafe conditions.
In the case of the Champlain Towers, a Florida judge approved an $83 million settlement for former condo owners and heirs of those killed last year when the Champlain Towers South residential building in Surfside, Florida partially collapsed. Nearly $50 million of the settlement would come from a payout from the condo association’s insurance carrier while the remaining $33 million would come from the sale of the property where the building once stood.
“This tragic incident is a classic case of negligence on behalf of the building’s management. The unfortunate part is we see this far too often where corners are cut to save a company money which results in the safety and lives of individuals being put in unnecessary peril,” says attorney Mark B. Stanley of The Stanley Law Group. “Just a few years ago we represented individuals in another tragic premises liability case in Columbia, SC where several victims died as the result of a gas leak in the Allen Benedict Court apartments despite several complaints of the odor of noxious fumes and gas. Those complaints were negligently handled, and the end result was catastrophic.”
Attorney Mark B. Stanley continues, “Safety should be paramount at every business establishment and safety concerns should always be reported and taken seriously. If you or a loved one has been injured while visiting a place of business or have lost a loved one due to the negligence of a business, be sure to file a report and contact an experienced premises liability lawyer to seek legal advice.’’