The Bryan Stow verdict in Los Angeles was a huge victory for common sense. For years, businesses of all type have tried to maintain that they hold no responsibility for what happens in their parking lots. These are usually minor issues, such as shopping carts dinging cars and fender-bender accidents because of improper design of the traffic flow. But sometimes these issues are major, such as when a business fails to do anything to keep people safe from assault.
For years, fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers complained about feeling unsafe in the area around the stadium. Some families refused to even buy tickets anymore, tired of being hassled and threatened. That threatening finally gave way to something much worse when Mr. Stow was viciously attacked and beaten.
The Dodgers tried to excuse themselves from liability, claiming they could not police the parking lots. Thankfully, a jury thought otherwise, recognizing this situation as not much different than an expectation we keep our own yards safe. A parking lot is quite obviously still part of the business’s property.
Still, Mr. Stow would rather not have suffered such grave injuries in the first place, and it is best that we put safety first whenever we can. When you are in a potentially unsafe environment, especially in a parking lot, make sure you:
- Be very aware of your surroundings, particularly regarding what other people are around you
- Don’t engage others in negative conversations, regardless of how you are provoked
- Park only in well-lit areas and around other vehicles
- Stay in a group whenever possible
- Are aware of whatever security or police might be around and contact them at the first hint of trouble
If you or someone you love was injured in an attack, particularly if the attack took place on another person’s property, it is possible the property owners were liable or negligent if they did not do what they should to keep people safe. Please contact an attorney to help you hold businesses accountable for not putting safety first.