Although no one can fully anticipate a serious crime happening at a business, parking lot, or other property open to the public, especially in this day and age, landowners need to recognize that certain dangers do exist from time to time.
As such, it is no surprise that Pennsylvania law imposes some obligations on landowners to make sure their property is secure and that people invited onto the property aren't going to fall victim to criminal activity.
Specifically, business owners have to assume that, when they invite people onto their property without distinction, then some are going to commit crime or otherwise do harmful things. Owners therefore have a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent criminal activity that one could see happening. This means that, while it might not be necessary for a shopping mall to have armed snipers on the rooftop, it probably does mean that the mall should have some trained security.
Furthermore, if a landowner knows or has a good reason to know that a crime is going to happen on his or her premises, then he or she has an obligation to stop the criminal from hurting other people, usually by having adequate security. This rule also applies when a landowner is aware that there has been criminal activity on the land in the past, even if the landowner is not aware of a specific threat.
Inadequate security at a business property can wind up leaving innocent Berks County residents hurt just as easily as other hazards like wet or icy walkways or falling objects. If a person is attacked while patronizing an event or a business, our law office may be able to help them recover the compensation they need to help them recover from the incident by pursuing a premises liability claim.