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WHO SHOULD BE HELD RESPONSIBLE DURING A MASS SHOOTING?

It appears like virtually every other week there is a report of a mass shooting in the news. Regardless your take on the issue of gun control, everyone has one thing in agreement; these incidents are tragic and worrisome. After these incidents, families are often left bereft and financially incapacitated. This is because, most of the time, people who fall victims to gun violence are wage earners who are in their prime. They play a key role in the support of their families. Survivors of this violent acts often have to pay astronomical medical bills and may need to endure months-long recovery or lifelong disabilities.

In cases of intentional violence who else can be blamed aside the shooter? Quite often, these gunmen end up being killed during the incident. And in cases where they survive, their discipline will be handled by the criminal justice system and is usually followed by an order of restitution. This order of restitution is based on the premise that the shooter has the capacity to pay for damages to the victims of his act or their families.

Unlike unintentional cases such as a slip-and-fall at a store, a car accident or dog bite, gun violence or other intentional acts of violence are not covered by insurance companies.

The only way victims of these crimes can secure compensation is through third-party liability, this is usually based on the theory of premise liability. This theory is of the belief that property owners knew or should have reasonably foreseen the tendencies of such act of violence and should have taken steps to prevent it.

For example, if a nightclub that is known with frequent fights does not do anything to increase its security and then a violent incidence eventually happens that resulted in the loss of life or disability, such nightclub can be held for negligent security.

The shooting in Orlando, Florida was followed by personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits filed by a personal injury attorney.

The lawsuit filed in Nevada is one of the most significant, in which several parties were named as defendants, including the resort owner, the hotel, the concert promoter, and the producer of “bump stocks”. According to the lawsuit, each of these parties shares blame in the shooting which led to the death of 58 people with more than 500 injuries. This is most likely the fight of many lawsuits to come.

According to the lawsuit, the hotel failed in its care for patrons by not properly monitoring people coming into and out of the hotel. The shooter had a veritable arsenal in his room, with which he fired from above at the crowd. The lawsuit also stated that the concert promoter and the venue owner failed to mark clear signs of exit in the case of an emergency. It further stated that employees at the hotel were not properly trained in their response during times of emergency.

Gun manufacturers and sellers are however protected from civil claims by a Federal Law (Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, 2005). Victims stand a better chance with premises liability claims. The question asked includes; were there acts of carelessness? If so, what could have been done differently? Lawsuits against property owners in the past have been successful, a good example was that against Virginia Tech, during which the institution was ordered to pay $11 million to the families of the students killed during the mass shooting there.

Parents of the students killed in Newtown have a case pending in court. According to the lawsuit, the school had failed to secure the classrooms and didn’t have adequate security protocol in place.

During any wrongful death in Florida, a personal injury attorney in Florida is the best bet at having your compensation paid.


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