All too often we pick up the paper and read about a fight that escalates into a shooting in a nightclub. Often the assailant not only shoots his intended target, but innocent bystanders as well. These types of cases fall into what we refer to as Negligent Security.
Just this past Tuesday Morning, Antaun Teasley, a personal chef to a number of professional athletes was shot dead at the South Beach club Mansion. As reported by The Miami Herald, The shooting was preceded by a fight between two groups in a roped-off section of the VIP area inside the club. The fight was followed by a loud bang that some said blended in with the music. The DJ told the crowd it wasn’t a gunshot and to relax. His suggestion didn’t last long, and the throng headed to the exits.
Teasley was found with a bullet in his upper torso near an exit at Mansion. He was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center, where he died. It is unknown if Teasley was involved in the fight.
What is known is that it is illegal to have a gun in a Miami Beach establishment that serves alcohol. Thus, should Mr. Teasley’s family chose to bring a claim for Wrongful Death, the case will center on the security procedures at Mansion, and how someone brought a gun into the club.
While shootings inside clubs don’t happen often, fights and disturbances are a frequent occurrence. To that end, police were called to Mansion 344 times last year. Part of proving a negligence claim involves foreseeability. The Plaintiff needs to prove that the owner or operator of a business knew or should have known that criminal conduct was highly likely to occur, and failed to take reasonable steps to protect its customers from that foreseeable criminal conduct. Given the number of times police were called to Mansion last year, this incident was foreseeable. In addition thereto the security personnel somehow allowed a patron to bring a gun into the club. That in and of itself is Negligence.