On Wednesday, November 7, 2018, Ian Long entered the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks and began to open fire. He was a 28-year-old former U.S. Marine who had served 5 years in both Afghanistan as a gunner and in Okinawa, Japan, as an instructor. Long killed 12 people in the attack, including a security guard out front, and several students inside the bar.
The Borderline was holding a country line-dancing night and was open to all individuals over the age of 18. There were various students present in the bar, and reports from eyewitnesses and victims say that many thought the initial gunshots were simply balloons that were popping. It wasn’t until they heard screams and saw bodies drop that they realized someone had a gun.
Apart from those shot, patrons were injured while trying to leave the bar; they were forced to break windows and hurry through glass, suffering various cuts and lacerations in the process. One of the first victims was a police officer who responded to the scene and immediately rushed into the building when he heard the shots; he was immediately killed by Long.
Long carried out the attack with a legally-purchased Glock handgun with an extended magazine and faced no opposition from any personnel on the scene. He drove to the bar shortly before midnight and immediately shot a security guard outside. Once he was inside, a lack of armed security and meant that he was able to carry out the attack without facing any danger. After a few minutes, he shot himself.
There has been no motive revealed for the shooting.
Liability of the Security Company
One of the primary reasons Long was able to carry out the attack so easily was due to the lack of security present at the Borderline Bar and Grill. Bars generally tend to have ample security to protect patrons and protect potentially dangerous individuals from entering the establishments. These security guards may be armed at times, depending on the nature of the event and the area of the bar or club.
At the Borderline, there was a single security guard, unarmed, who was present outside the door admitting patrons. There were no other guards in the parking lot who could give forewarning to the bar to lock it down to prevent anyone from coming in. The only connection to the interior guards was the solitary exterior guard, and Long quickly shot him – he was then able to enter effortlessly with no one inside trying to lock down the premises, let alone expecting him in the first place.
Inside the bar, security guards were not near the entrance or exit to immediately try and stop Long, nor were they able to efficiently guide patrons to safety. Patrons were forced to break windows as high as the second floor to flee.
As a result of this lack of protection, families of the victims and the victims themselves can hold the security company liable for the injuries suffered. The patrons in the bar were not amply protected by the guards. Lack of armed security meant that the only viable and safe option was to wait for police responders, and by that time, many rounds had been fired by Long.
Security guards not being in position to intervene is one reason for liability, but the lack of exit strategy in the case of emergency is another. Security guards who were not willing or able to help others failed in their duty, and the company failed in providing individuals who would uphold safety.
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Negligence of Security Company
Because the company provided insufficient security and the guards who were present did not protect patrons, a personal injury lawsuit based on negligence can be filed. In order to show that you were the victim of negligent action, you must prove these four points.
- You were owed a duty of care by the bar and security
- The duty of care was breached
- The breach led to an accident or incident (shooting)
- The incident caused physical harm
You must have suffered some kind of bodily injury to file a personal injury lawsuit against the bar and the security company. If you were not injured in the event, you would only be able to sue for lost wages and minor damages.
It is reasonable to expect security guards to have some kind of method or procedure to protecting patrons. Mere presence is not enough to prevent an attack and if the guards are not equipped in emergency procedures, their negligence could be costly and lead to deaths. This was evidenced in the Thousand Oaks shooting.
Legal Procedure and Evidence
If you wish to file a claim against the security company at the Thousand Oaks Borderline Bar and Grill shooting, you should contact one of our attorneys so you can gather necessary evidence. You can use eyewitness reports, photos of your injuries, pictures of the layout of the bar, the amount of security on the clock that night, the procedure of the guards, and more to bolster your claim.
As a victim, you will be able to file a claim directly with the company. We will collect your evidence and write the demand letter for you. If your family member or loved one died in the shooting, we will handle the leg work for you.
Compensation from a Lawsuit against the Security Company
Under the law, you can receive numerous types of restitution from the security company for their role in the damages you suffered in the shooting. Although the majority of blame lies on Long, you can still receive coverage from the company. This compensation can include:
- Coverage of medical expenses (surgery, hospitalization, medication, physical therapy, and future medical treatments)
- Property damage (if any personal belongings were lost or broken in the incident)
- Missed income (if you were forced to miss days of work or if you must spend time away because of recovery and medical procedures)
- Pain and suffering (PTSD, anxiety, fear, psychological trauma, and other forms of emotional scarring that could impact your day-to-day life and wreak havoc on your mental state)
- Punitive damages (additional forms of monetary compensation handed out when there is gross negligence, but these damages are usually difficult to win and can only be secured by a talented attorney)
- Wrongful death expenses (funeral and burial costs, loss of consortium, pre-death medical bills, pre-death pain and suffering, loss of expected earnings and savings, loss of expected inheritance, and more)
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Our lawyers will do all we can to help you receive the maximum compensation available under the law for your damages. You should not be expected to cover these expenses if you were the victim of negligent action in the shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims
If you wish to file a claim against the security company for damages suffered in the Thousand Oaks shooting, you only have 2 years from the date of the injury to take legal action. If you try to file a claim beyond this point, you will be barred from receiving compensation and will be prevented from filing a lawsuit in the future. The statute of limitations exists so claims are efficiently handled, evidence is preserved, and witnesses do not misremember key details. It also helps to ensure damages are paid out in a timely manner.
The Right Firm for You
The Downtown LA Law Group in Los Angeles can help you file your lawsuit against the security company at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks. The shooting could have been handled better, and you should be fully covered by those who were responsible for keeping you and your family safe. Our lawyers are empathetic and our main goal is to ensure that you are safe and healthy. We will aggressively pursue your rightful damages and will take your case to court if necessary.
Call us today to set up a free legal consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. We encourage you to ask us any questions you like – nothing is off limits. We will tell you how much we believe we can earn for you, as well. Further, our consultations are all completely confidential, and our lawyers can be reached around the clock – no matter what time or day it is.
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If you wish to hire us, we will also give you our zero fee guarantee, which is a promise that you won’t touch your own personal savings for our services. We will only get paid if we win your case, and if we lose, we earn nothing whatsoever. Your financial stability is important to us.
To get started on your lawsuit against the security company for liability in the Thousand Oaks shooting, reach out to the Downtown LA Law Group today.