Private Security Elements of Negligent Liability

Private security has become popular in our society. Anyway, state securities are so busy that they cannot protect every household and businesses, hence the era of private security has helped much to enforce law, order, and protection. However, despite good work, sometimes they go overboard and exercise their duties in a way that violates fundamental freedom and rights of people. and even civil law.

Negligent Liability

Negligent liability is a category of civil offenses.  Civil offenses are a practice of civil law which regulates and controls private relationships and legal deals. It includes many law categories and specializes in legal matters regarding relationships between individuals and organizations. Private security regulates torts related to civil law. Hence negligent liability is a category of torts (Pastor, n. d).

Negligent liability is caused by negligence that lacks adequate care in the prevention of a foreseeable injury that may result into damages. It is a frequent civil charge that is common in the private security sector and it involves negligence in vehicle operations and hiring, selection and training, supervising and failure to protect. Also, use of force during enforcing of private security is viewed as negligence liability, but these are different in each state.

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Elements of Negligent Liability

State negligent liability statutes vary from state to state, but there are five fundamental elements that are commonplace.

Duty owed

In this case the defendant has the legal duty owed to a specific level to protect individuals and involved property. This issue also connected with the duty of employers to protect employees and their interests. For example, an employer recruits an employee who in the progress of services of the company injures other employees. The employer is liable for the interests of injured employees as he has a duty to protect them or prevent the injury. The liability also covers the ability of the employer or defendant to warn the plaintiff of dangers beforehand (Hess, 2009).  The key ideology of this case is the concept that there is an ability to foresee the situation and its outcome.

The private security negligent liability should show that the security personnel were unable to provide proper care that led to the injury of the third party. This element is closely related to non-delegable duty and vicarious liability. Non-delegable duty is explained as the duty for the performance of an activity that requires permission from authorities, whether local or federal permission. It is the same duty that binds performance of the activity and protection of the public. For example, actions of another person’s duties are based on another person responsibility resulting in vicarious liability, where even security companies and supervisors are charged in other way than the individual security officer.

Existence of a Foreseeable Likelihood

There is   foreseeable likelihood of the happening of the injury. If there is likelihood of an injurious activity, steps should be taken to prevent such an action in the future or warn victims of such incident. Security officers are liable to the security of a specific area which has criminal activity. If a crime is committed again, considering the crime statistics, then the security officer can be sued for not preventing the crime from happening again.

Inability to protect and Proximate Cause

If the security officer breached the duty to protect the property or individual, he is to be sued for negligence. If breach of duty led to the injury of the victim, then the security can also be sued for injury that the victim suffered.  Hence breach of duty will be the proximate cause that led to the injury.


Negligence liability is also to be enforced when the damages and injury that the victim suffered were as a result of breach of duty and inability to protect. The injury must be related to the lack of security or warning of likelihood of the event.  Damages are divided into substantive and punitive damages. Substantive damages are damages that lead to medical treatment or any other medical expenses that may be caused by the occurrence of an injury due to breach of duty. Punitive damages are related to ensuring that the negligence is proved by punishing the ones related to the incidence. Negligence liability in private sector is broad and goes beyond the above elements.

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The case Romannski vs. Detroit Entertainment in Detroit involved actions of fundamental rights and abuse of freedoms. In the case Romanski, while playing slot machines in Motor City Casino in Detroit, picked a five cent token she found in the slot machine and took it with her winnings. Upon noticing that the management turned her out of the casino and left outside to wait for a bus in 90 degree weather without lunch she had also paid for. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Romanski for false arrest with a false imprisonment, and awarded her $279 compensation damages and $600,000 punitive damages, (Nemeth, 2012).

Therefore, private security should be aware of these actions and deter from causing or participating in them as they constitute negligence liability. It can also happen under other circumstances, hence there is need to ensure actual representations of security laws, fundamental human rights, and freedom.

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