El Paso shooting victims sue Walmart for lack of security

| Sep 26, 2019 | Premises Liability

New Jersey residents may be interested in learning about a new lawsuit regarding the mass shooting that took place in August 2019 at an El Paso Walmart Supercenter. The plaintiff is a family affected by the shooting. In the lawsuit, the family states that there was no discernible security at the Walmart location and that Walmart was negligent in not providing it.

Usually, in cases involving violent acts on another’s property, the property owners, property managers and landlords cannot be held liable, but if this case ends in a favorable outcome for the family, a new precedent may be set in premises liability law. It is true that Walmart did not have security personnel on-site; prior to the shooting, it had off-duty police at all its El Paso locations but discontinued the practice sometime before the incident.

After the incident, Walmart reinstituted the practice. Walmart has an internal process, which it has not disclosed, for determining how much security is needed at each of its locations. In many cases, it has decided that storewide security cameras are enough for loss prevention. Most retailers only recruit security personnel for stores in manifestly crime-infested neighborhoods.

Inadequate security can provide grounds for a claim. The lawsuit goes further, though, stating that Walmart’s security staffing decisions are more profit-based than customer-based.

Those who have been injured on another’s property and believe the owner did not take reasonable steps to prevent it may want to learn more about premises liability. Furthermore, they may discuss their case with an attorney who works in premises liability law. If the case appears to be strong, the attorney may hire investigators to gather proof against the defendant. Victims may leave all settlement negotiations to legal counsel and litigate as a last resort.

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