A spokesman for the university noted that the frequency of the assaults were “unusual.” One senior student said when stopped by WTAE that “It’s a scary thought because I have Thursday night classes until 9, and it’s on Fifth Avenue, so walking home alone, it could be me. You never know.”
The student was right, it really could happen to anyone at anytime. However, there are some things that property owners can do to deter criminal activity. Proper lighting in parking lots, secure locks on entries to common areas in apartments and sufficient security personnel at establishments where liquor is served are only a few examples.
What happens if an assault occurs on property where sufficient security measures are lacking? The victim of an assault may be eligible for damages in a premises liability lawsuit.
Don’t premises liability lawsuits require proof of a negligent act? Isn’t an assault or robbery an intentional and criminal act? Although a criminal assault is considered an intentional act, an establishment that fails to provide reasonable security measures can be found liable or negligent in these cases.
If you have suffered an assault, an attorney can help you determine whether negligent security was a factor in your case. You may be able to recover damages intended to compensate you for medical expenses and even pain and suffering.
Source: WTAE, “Pitt students on alert after robberies, assaults in Oakland,” Marcie Cipriani, Sept. 30, 2014