The property holder only has a duty to protect against types of crimes of which he or she has notice and which are likely to recur if the common areas are not secure. The court’s focus in determining duty is not to decide whether a particular plaintiff’s injury was reasonably foreseeable in light of a particular defendant’s conduct, but rather to evaluate more generally whether the category of negligent conduct at issue is sufficiently likely to result in the kind of harm experienced that liability may appropriately be imposed on the negligent party. Janice H. v. 696 North Robertson, LLC (2016) 1 Cal.App.5th 586, 594.
Only when heightened foreseeability of third party criminal activity on the premises exists – shown by prior similar incidents or other indications of a reasonably foreseeable risk of violent criminal assaults in that location – does the scope of a business proprietor’s special-relationship-based duty include an obligation to provide guards to protect the safety of patrons. Delgado v. Trax Bar & Grill (2005) 36 Cal.4th 224, 240.
Even when proprietors have no duty to provide a security guard or undertake other similarly burdensome preventative measures, the proprietor is not necessarily insulated from liability under the special relationship doctrine. A proprietor that has no duty to hire a security guard or undertake other similarly burdensome preventative measures still owes a duty of care to a patron or invitee by virtue of the special relationship, and there are circumstances (apart from the failure to provide a security guard or undertake other similarly burdensome preventative measures) that may give rise to liability based upon the proprietor’s special relationship. Delgado, 36 Cal.4th 224, 240-241.
Michael H. Bassiri 949-222-0209