On Wednesday night, college night at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California became the scene of the latest mass shooting. Authorities have confirmed that the incident resulted in 12 fatalities (including the shooter) and many other injuries. The community in Thousand Oaks, California is shaken, especially considering that the city ranks as one of the safest cities in the nation. No one knows why the 28-year-old Marine veteran opened fired into the country bar, which was packed with a number of students from California Lutheran University, California State University Channel Islands, and Pepperdine University. Based on reports, a first responder-an officer with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department-was killed in the incident.
As surviving victims are released from hospitals and find solace in the arms of their friends and families, a common question keeps arising: who is liable for the shooting? Without a doubt, the shooter is the party that has fault for the deaths and the injuries caused by his unfounded attack into the crowded bar. However, other parties could have liability in the incident-such as the owner of the bar.
How could have anyone known to prepare for a mass shooting? Motives for the shooting are unknown; there is no way that anyone-especially the bar owner-could have known that there would be a mass shooting in his or her establishment. However, the bar owner could face some liability in the incident and be the subject of multiple lawsuits.
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.
The Right to Pursue a Claim
Your right to pursue a claim against Borderline Bar & Grill depends on whether the bar owner’s negligence contributed to the harm suffered. All property owners have the duty to provide a safe atmosphere for their patrons. Although they cannot avoid random attacks, they should be prepared to handle these attacks whenever they occur. If the bar owner failed to keep adequate security or clear emergency exits, for example, they would have breached their duty of care to their patrons. If the harm that you or a member of your family suffered was a result of a breach of duty in part of the bar owner, the bar owner could have some liability.
If the negligent actions of a property owner contributed to your injuries or the death of a member of your family, you could have the right to pursue a claim-even if the harm suffered was a direct result of a mass shooting. Bar owners have to take reasonable care to keep patrons safe; if they fail, they could be held accountable.
If you pursue a claim against the bar owner, you could be eligible to recover some of the following types of compensation: medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, burial costs, loss of consortium, and punitive damages, for example. Do you think that the bar owner’s negligence led to the severity of your injuries or the death of a member of your family? If so, you might have grounds to pursue a claim and receive compensation.
If you are interested in pursuing a claim against Borderline Bar & Grill, you must contact our law firm as soon as possible. Downtown L.A. Law Group is a personal injury law firm dedicated to representing all victims affected by attacks such as the shooting that occurred in Thousand Oaks. Our lawyers have many years of experience handling these types of claims and helping victims and their families recover the compensation that they deserve. You are probably unsure about whether you want to pursue a claim against the bar owner. Simply contact our law firm to learn about the rights that you have after this unfortunate attack; our lawyers will provide you with all the information that you need.
Our firm offers both free consultations and free second opinions. These free legal services are available as part of our Zero-Fee guarantee. You could discuss your claim and the possibility of pursuing your claim with our lawyers without ever having to worry about paying any upfront legal fees. Our firm is based on contingency; therefore, you will not be required to pay any upfront legal fees until after your claim reaches a successful outcome. You will not have to pay us anything if you do not win. We encourage you to contact our law firm today for more information about your right to pursue a claim against Borderline Bar & Grill after the devastating shooting.