North Carolina residents may be interested in a recent lawsuit that demonstrates the dynamics of a wrongful death claim. It raises important issues for landlords, condominium management boards and those in the hired security fields.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the estates of two people murdered in their Boston condo. The alleged assailant was working for a security firm hired by the building owners. He is believed to have called on the victims under the pretense of official business to gain access to their apartment. The victims were later found dead with their hands bound and throats cut.
The alleged assailant had been hired by the security firm prior to the murders. While the security company claimed to have performed a background check, the man had two prior convictions for theft, and he had served a short prison term. The convictions were relatively close in time to being hired by the company.
The lawsuit alleges negligent hiring on the part of the company. In addition, it alleges that the couple had notified the front security desk of a gunman in their premises, but the desk guard delayed in providing assistance.
Often in a wrongful death claim, multiple parties are named as defendants under different theories of fault. In this case, the plaintiffs allege the security company was paid to perform security tasks for the tenants of the building and condo owners. As a part of that security, the suit claims they were under a duty to take reasonable steps in hiring their employees. Had they done so, the deaths of the victims may have been avoided.