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Injured commiting a crime question Premises Liability

Discussion in 'Accidents, Injuries, Negligence' started by tpajet, Jul 24, 2009.

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  1. tpajet

    tpajet Law Topic Starter New Member

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    This is one I've heard people say, but never actually heard of it happening.

    If someone breaks into a home or business, and they are injured, would they ever be able to sue the owner, or would it get thrown out because they were injured in the commision of a crime?
     
  2. dee_dub

    dee_dub Moderator

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    Where does this hypothetically happen, and how is the burglar hypothetically injured?

    Source: http://www.legalzoom.com/legal-articles/top-ten-frivolous-lawsuits.html

    That's a jury case, so sadly the legal principles by which the owner was found liable are not enunciated.
     
  3. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    These laws also vary by state.

    Yes, there are numerous such travesties that have been perpetrated by our system that encourages everyone else to be responsible. Even the murderous SOBs that shot up North Hollywood had families that tried to sue the police for causing the deaths of their loved ones!!! And Los Angeles settled a case out of court when an officer returned fire on the thug that had already shot him (destroying his hip, I believe, and ending his career) - the thug was paralyzed and the city settled out of court for far more money than the officer would ever earn on disability. These suits are not fair, but they do exist.

    - Carl
     
  4. Green_Hornet

    Green_Hornet New Member

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    That case dee dub cited is a little different. I would not call it frivolous the owner had his bar set up to kill an intruder when the premises where vacant. If the owner had laid a bear trap or something like that, I doubt litigation would ensue.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2009
  5. tpajet

    tpajet Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Here's what I'm talking about. There was a case in my area a few years ago where a guy broke into a convenience store after hours by climbing in through a roof vent, but he fell and landed on a shelf, injuring himself.

    Or, if someone breaks into my home and gets injured. Well, I know that probably could never happen in Florida. We have the stand your ground law, that, in short, says that if you break into my home, I am authorized to use any force including deadly force. So in other words, if you are standing in my living room, armed or not, I can legally shoot you and I cannot face prosecution nor can anyone sue me. So I would say that since I can do it to you, then you doing it on your own is just as well. But in other states what do you think the verdict would be?
     
  6. Green_Hornet

    Green_Hornet New Member

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    Thats different you are in the house and intruder enters, you can use deadly force to defend yourself and family. However you rig up your house so when no one is home so that anyone that enters is killed, well thats very different.

    To use an analogy some one steals your car you see your car at a red light shoot the guy driving it and kill him your life is not in danger so there is no need for deadly force.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2009
  7. tpajet

    tpajet Law Topic Starter New Member

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    That's still not what I'm talking about. OK, someone tries to break into your home, when you are not home, and they injur themselves without any booby traping on your part (like the guy falling through the skylight) can they sue?
     
  8. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    Anyone can sue for any reason ... they may not WIN, but they can sue, yes.

    Some states have laws that prevent people who are injured in the course of a criminal act - or certain criminal acts - from suing for injuries received, other states have left that door open. It depends on the laws of the state in question and the circumstances leading to the injury.

    - Carl
     
  9. Green_Hornet

    Green_Hornet New Member

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    Not really.
    They can sue, kind of like I could sue my favorite Chinese restaurant for making all that yummy food that put me overweight, however there is no theory that could sustain a suite or recovery in my view. I doubt they would find an attorney that would entertain a looser like that.
     
  10. tpajet

    tpajet Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I got my answer. Under Florida law, if the person who is trespassing is under the influence, then I as the property owner would be off the hook. If they are not under the influence, then I am only liable if I have committed gross negligence or intentional misconduct.

    It also states that if they I don't have to warn them of non-obvious dangers unless I find them trespassing.

    And, the last paragraph does state that I as the property owner cannot be help liable for injury or death to someone that is attempting to commit a felony or is in the commission of a felony on the property, so breaking an entering being a felony, I am off the hook.

    So if they hurt themselves or me and Mr. Glockinspeil (minus the inspiel) do it to them, I'm off the hook. I love Florida law. :dgrin
     

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