Dark parking lot lighting up a row of old cars


James A. Maniatis April 13, 2021

No matter where you live, crime can happen. When it happens due to negligence on the part of your security, it can feel especially startling. Although crime saw a decrease in 2019 according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, it does not mean the vigilance surrounding safety should drop. If you or someone you love was injured or worse due to a security breach, the need to seek justice through the legal system is natural.

The Law Office of James A. Maniatis can help. I have the knowledge and experience to help you get compensated for an attack as a result of negligent security. I represent clients in Shrewsbury, Southborough, and Webster, Massachusetts, and in the surrounding areas of Westborough, Northborough, Grafton, Boylston, Millbury, Upton, Dudley, Oxford, Southbridge, and Charlton. I’m also proud to represent clients from all towns and cities throughout Massachusetts.


Negligent security can be defined as a way a third party can hold the owner or tenant of a property liable for a criminal injury. This provides victims with the opportunity to seek justice for crimes and violent acts. This includes crimes such as rape, robbery, assault, or murder.

For example, landlords have a duty to make sure that there are reasonable security measures in place to protect their tenants and lawful visitors from foreseeable crimes. The word negligent is key here — as it means that the crime that happened could have been prevented or made less likely if adequate security measures were in place. An example of this could be if you live in a gated community and the gate is never locked, or the lock is broken, resulting in your home getting robbed. 

The duty of safety applies to both residential and commercial landowners, although the duty itself can vary. Examples of this are stores and college universities. When it comes to these places, nuances exist with duty. For example, a shop owner has a duty to anyone shopping inside their store, but once the shopper goes into the parking lot, the shopkeeper’s duty may no longer apply. 


In any criminal case, there are elements of the law that must be satisfied. When it comes to negligent security, there are four:

  1. The plaintiff must lawfully be on the property - You, as the plaintiff, must have legally been allowed to be on the property. Whether you were visiting a friend, in your own home, or in a commercial business, your presence has to have been lawful. If you are at a business after hours or trespassing, the duty of safety will not apply, and therefore you will not be able to prove negligent security.

  2. The defendant failed to exercise reasonable care in regards to security measures - Similar to the example mentioned above, there needs to be a reasonable security measure that was disregarded. Crimes can unfortunately still occur even if all security measures are in place. Making sure there was a breach of the duty of safety is key to the case.

  3. The injury occurred due to the breach of their duty of safety - The injury that occurred was the result of a breach of safety. Getting attacked in your hallway because your landlord did not fix the gates to your community could be an excellent example of this.

  4. You suffered damages - You, as the plaintiff, suffered damages from this injury. Whether this was monetary damages, physical damages, or emotional damages from the trauma, damages must be proven.


Assuming that there needs to be a failure of reasonable security, you may be wondering what qualifies as “adequate security.” This depends on the property. Some adequate security measures are common, such as locks where you live. Other measures are more specific, such as having security patrolling a business area or even lights in a parking lot. If you are uncertain about whether or not the security was adequate from a legal standpoint, you should ask a qualified personal injury attorney.


As your attorney, I can look over your case and investigate all of the facts to determine who should be held liable. I can work with doctors and experts to prepare your claim, and I will be prepared to go to court if necessary and fight for you to receive the compensation you deserve. If you or someone you know has been injured due to negligent security, don’t wait. Call or reach out to my firm today, The Law Office of James A. Maniatis, to schedule a free case consultation.

If you’ve been injured due to negligent security measures, you deserve to have an experienced attorney on your side to help you pursue compensation. For years I have worked with injured victims in Shrewsbury, Southborough, and Webster, Massachusetts to help them pursue the justice they deserve. 

I also proudly serve the surrounding areas of Westborough, Northborough, Grafton, Boylston, Millbury, Upton, Dudley, and Oxford, Massachusetts — so if you or someone you know has been injured and is in need of legal guidance, call or reach out to my firm, the Law Office of James Maniatis, today to schedule a free case evaluation.