Magazine article Security Management

Negligence

Magazine article Security Management

Negligence

Article excerpt

NEGLIGENCE. A California appeals court has ruled that the client of a security guard firm cannot be held liable for injuries sustained by a contract security guard. In the case, the court ruled that a security guard attacked at a private party cannot collect damages from the homeowner's association that hired the guards.

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The case involved Coto de Caza, a private gated community, which hired BonaFide Security Services, a contract security guard company, through CZ Master Association, the homeowner's association at Coto.

In August 1998, a teenaged resident of Coto hosted a party. Many more people arrived at the party than were invited and the party was soon out of control. Neighbors called the security officer provider and the Orange County Sheriff's depart ment to break up the gathering. Officers from both groups responded and dispersed the partygoers, some of whom were assaulting one another.

A short time later, the security officers received another call complaining that the party had reassembled. Donald Tilley, a 62-year-old security officer assigned to patrol the property, and another security officer went to the residence where approximately 30 people still remained. One of the remaining guests was Robbie Carreno, who had earlier been involved in one of the assaults. Tilley recognized Carreno, who was getting in his truck to leave.

Tilley approached Carreno and told him that he was under arrest. Tilley then asked for, and received, Carreno's keys. As Tilley walked away from the vehicle, Carreno and his brother tackled Tilley and began beating him. Tilley was severely injured in the assault and suffered a fractured skull. Deputies from the sheriff's office arrived on the scene after the assault was over.

Tilley sued CZ for negligence and premises liability. He claimed that CZ was negligent in prohibiting security officers from carrying firearms while simultaneously tolerating large, and often violent, parties thrown by residents. …

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