Based on premise liability, establishment owners have the duty to keep the premises reasonably safe for patrons. One way in which the bar owner could have performed his or her duty of keeping patrons safe is to hire adequate security. The lack of security at any establishment could contribute to the extent of harm caused by the attack.
According to reports about the shooting in Borderline Bar & Grill, there were multiple security guards on the premises. There was at least one security guard standing outside of the door of the establishment – this guard was shot before the shooter entered the bar. Inside the bar, there were more security guards which were also gunned down. Although there was security presence, it is unclear why the security guards on the scene were unable to stop the attacker. Was the hired security inadequate? Were the security guards unarmed? Was the bar owner aware that the security team was ill-equipped to handle threats and attacks?
Consider the following: hiring armed security guards is more expensive than hiring unarmed security guards. Did the bar owner hire unarmed security guards to save a few dollars? Was the safety of the patrons sacrificed for a better price for security guards on the premises? The bar owner could have also been aware of the inadequacy and/or the incompetency of the security guards on the premises and could have failed to take action to hire better-equipped security.
When discussing the bar owner’s liability, other questions arise outside of whether or not competent security guards were present. For instance, were there clear emergency exits? Were any of the exits blocked by seating, lighting, boxes, speakers, or any other obstacles? Were exits unmarked? Was there enough lighting in the bar for patrons to see the exits?
Without a doubt, it might be too early for victims and their families to start thinking about pursuing a claim against any party liable for the harm suffered. However, you should be aware of your rights.