There is no question that we live in a dangerous and violent world. Sometimes we forget how dangerous until we see something in the news that reminds us of that fact. Recently, a 13 year old boy was sexually assaulted in the bathroom of a South Florida Metrorail station. The boy was on his way home from school, when at about 3:30 p.m. he got off the train and went into the restroom of the Allapattah Metrorail Station. A man, who has yet to be identified, but who has a composite made of him, proceeded to follow the boy into the bathroom where he sexually assaulted the boy. The attacker was described as a 30 to 40 year old male with a heavy physique, dark complexion, medium Afro, and a short salt-and-pepper beard.
It is evident that the aggressor is guilty of a criminally hideous act and that he should be found and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. However, from a civil standpoint, the attacker may not be the only liable party. If it is determined that the boy was an invitee, Miami-Dade County is also civilly liable. This is because a property owner in Miami-Dade County is responsible for any harm that comes to its invitees while on their premises. If said harm was foreseeable and the County failed to take any actions to prevent it, then they are civilly liable for the sexual assault of the minor.
Allapattah unfortunately is one of the areas in Miami-Dade County where the crime rate is very high. Per statistics, the crime rate is over twice the rate of Florida overall, which is comparable to 1 in 69 (Allapattah) versus 1 in 184 (Florida) people being victims to a violent crime. Furthermore, out of a population of roughly 60,512 people roughly 536 people are assaulted each year.
The Metrorail station is a public government owned facility that has serviced the Greater Miami area since 1984 by connecting neighborhoods to businesses, the downtown area, shopping centers, the airport, and more. It has serviced up to 125,000 passengers per day and owes those passengers a reasonable duty of care, which can be fulfilled by making sure the entry to their facilities and the usage of their facilities is safe. As a result, the Metrorail station may be liable given the unfortunate circumstances that took place in which a 13 year old boy was sexually assaulted in one of its bathrooms.
At the law offices of Alexis Izquierdo, P.A., we specialize in cases such as this. Negligent security by a landowner may rise to civil liability, especially if the landowner has "notice" of prior criminal activity on its property. If you or someone you know has experienced negligent security do not hesitate to contact the law offices of Alexis Izquierdo, P.A. where Mr. Izquierdo and his highly trained legal staff will work diligently on your behalf to get you the justice that you deserve.