Using self-defense as a defense to a negligent security case

| Mar 24, 2021 | Negligent Security Defense |

One way that you can avoid premises liability claims is to ensure that you have adequate security at your business. But when these men and women have to move into action, the outcome can be someone being injured. In those instances, your business still might end up seeing a negligence lawsuit. If you don’t aggressively defend your employee and your business, then you can end up facing a lot of bad press and significant harm to your finances.

Arguing self-defense in a civil case

When people think of self-defense, they often think of it in the criminal context. But it can also play a role in a civil case. If your security officer has injured someone and now you’re facing legal problems, you might want to consider if you can argue self-defense. Here, you’ll want to try to establish that the security officer caused physical harm to the plaintiff only in order to protect himself or a third-party. Your best chances of success come when the security officer’s use of force was reasonable under the circumstances and no more than was necessary to stop the force that was being used by the plaintiff.

How self-defense can be countered

When you raise a self-defense argument, the plaintiff will probably be ready to push back. He or she might claim that the security guard started the physical altercation or that the security guard provoked the plaintiff to begin with. You’ll want to be prepared to address these counter-arguments at trial.

Be prepared to address claims based on negligent security

The best way to protect against these kinds of claims is to ensure that security guards are properly trained on use of force and that you have strong policies in place. The relationship you have with your security team, like whether you contract for that work or keep it in house, may be relevant, too. Yet, even if you take these steps, you might still find yourself on the receiving end of one of these claims. When that happens, be sure to have a skilled and aggressive legal advocate on your side who can help you fight to protect your interests.