Florida Tragedy Involving the Death of Two Teenagers Could Point To Premises Liability
Another terrible tragedy emerges in Florida: On July 25th, two young men who were shot at a kids’ event being held at Club Blue in Fort Myers were pronounced dead; one of them was only 14 years old and the other 18. Sadly, this incident comes only six weeks after the shooting that took the lives of 50 people in a club in Orlando. More than a dozen other victims—some of them as young as 12 years old—suffered from bullet wounds, some of them life-threatening. And while most have been treated and released, two remain in the intensive care unit. While the police have detained three people to question about the shooting, members of the community are still shocked and do not know what the motive for the shooting could have possibly been.
Some are also now questioning why the club did not provide more security for this particular event, as it usually does for adult events, as well as why underage individuals were at the facility past the city’s curfew restrictions, which could also carry implications in terms of liability. Some are simply shocked that a 12-year-old was at a nightclub where no identification was required to get in.
Security & the Law in Florida
The club has responded that at least eight armed guards were present for security and there was nothing that could be done, as the shooters did not actually attend the event, but rather drove up afterward. However, it may work against the club that, in the ad for the event, it promised “tight security all night.”
The law in Florida mandates that nightclub owners protect their customers against any potential dangerous conditions and simply do what is reasonable to protect customers in general. Typically, what is considered to be “reasonable” falls within what is foreseeable; in other words, has it happened there before? However, in this particular circumstance, the nightclub hosting underage individuals after the city’s curfew brings another potential complication into incident, as the club was arguably violating local law and, but for that violation, these youths would not have been on the premises.
There also appears to be some question as to whether there were any security guards at all present at the event, and if there were, if enough were provided. In this instance, youth were obviously invited to attend this event, and the property owner had a duty to provide enough security.
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A business owner who opens their property to others has a duty to make that property safe for guests. Sometimes, trying to figure out whether this duty has been performed is definitely a gray area.
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of someone not taking the proper precautions to ensure that you were safe while on their property, Clearwater attorney Mike Walker is dedicated to ensuring that you have assistance. Contact his office for a free consultation.