Restaurant Liability for Criminal Activity

Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”


Imagine you are at a restaurant with your family, enjoying the atmosphere and a meal together, when suddenly another individual decides to rob the restaurant. During this robbery, you are injured at the hands of the robber. What do you do now? You are likely facing large medical bills to deal with this unexpected injury. Who is responsible for this injury? In North Carolina, restaurants can be held liable for the criminal activity that occurs there.


columbian-restaurant-Charlotte-Monroe-Lake-Norman-Personal-Injury-Law-Firm-300x225One of the more serious instances of a restaurant being held liable for criminal activity was in 2007. A man went to a fast food restaurant after working a shift as a warehouse supervisor. It was about 3:00 AM when the man approached the fast food restaurant that was open 24 hours a day. Even at such a late hour, the restaurant was busy and the man decided that he was not going to eat there, but was given permission by a security guard to use the bathroom. While walking from the restaurant to his car, the man was robbed and shot in the back by gang members.


This gunshot wound left the man with devastating injuries. Not only did he accumulate $393,000 worth of medical bills, but the bullet severed his spinal cord. The severed spinal cord resulted in the man being paralyzed from the waist down.


The man decided to file a negligence claim against the restaurant owner, the property owner, and the security company that provided unarmed security to the restaurant. After rejecting a settlement offer, the case went to trial. At trial, expert testimony was able to prove that there was a history of violent crimes outside of the restaurant where the man was shot. In fact, over the previous three years there were numerous accounts of robberies, assaults, and even gunfire reported in the parking lot of the restaurant where the man was shot. Additionally, the restaurant was encouraged to hire off-duty police officers to provide some sort of additional security to an already dangerous area.


After three weeks of trial, they started to deliberate, but before they could reach a verdict, a settlement was reached. The restaurant owner, property owner, and security company settled for $6.25 million dollars.


Public establishments owe their patrons a duty of care to protect them from harm. In a high crime area, businesses must take steps to protect their customers from potential criminal activity that could occur, given the area. When a business does not take the proper steps to protect their customers, they can be found liable for the injuries caused.


If you have been injured by criminal activity at a public establishment, you might be entitled to compensation for you injuries by the owner of the business. The dedicated personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are here to help you. Unexpected injuries can cause serious financial strain on a person’s life. We will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve. Now taking cases throughout the Charlotte region with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and the new location under renovation in Monroe. Contact us, for a free consultation, call us at 704-370-2828 or click here for additional resources.







The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.





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