Fatal parking lot attack raises premises liability questions

Posted on August 2, 2012 by

On behalf of The Law Office of Marvin S. Lanter posted in Premises Liability on Thursday, August 2, 2012.

Back in January, an elderly woman was beaten and sexually assaulted in the parking lot of a California tire store. Seven months later, the 82-year-old died because of the injuries she suffered in the parking lot assault. Police have been unable to find her attacker, and they are offering $10,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the attacker’s arrest.

This awful incident brings up some important issues related to premises liability. The attack happened at about 9:15 a.m. in a busy area of Northern California that is situated directly over the city limits between the towns of Richmond and El Cerrito. The tire store is technically in Richmond, and across the street, in El Cerrito, is a Marshall’s department store. About three blocks away is El Cerrito City Hall.

So how does such a brutal attack occur in broad daylight? A store employee apparently found the badly injured woman in the parking lot, but do the premises themselves pose dangers to the public?

These kinds of questions are the beginning of many premises liability claims. Businesses throughout California have an obligation to ensure that their parking lots are safe for the public. That can mean having surveillance cameras or security guards to monitor areas that may be used by criminals to hurt victims.

In this particular case, the death of the elderly woman is being treated as a homicide. The victim was unable to identify her attacker, and police are asking for all the help they can get. Meanwhile, the family is likely looking for answers, too.

Source: El Cerrito Patch, “Elderly Assault Victim Dies, Police Ask Help in Finding Killer,” Charles Burress, August 1, 2012

© 2017 The Law Office of Marvin S. Lanter, Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer. All Rights Reserved.
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