Were you or a loved one victimized in the home? Do you suspect that your alarm system failed to protect you? Our experienced negligent security lawyers are here to help.
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Alarm system companies have an obligation to uphold and honor their contracts, protecting home and apartment owners and alerting the authorities to signs of suspicious activity. You may be entitled to significant financial compensation.
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Were you or a loved one sexually assaulted in your home? Do you believe that your alarm company failed to protect you? Our experienced negligent security attorneys can help. Security and alarm system companies promise to protect consumers. Every day, many of us rely on security alarm systems to kick in effectively in a time of need, contact the police quickly and warn us of hidden dangers in our home. Unfortunately, alarm systems can fail.
When Security Systems Fail, Victims Suffer Life-Long Harm
In recent years, our attorneys have watched with horror as a growing number of lawsuits has been filed over inadequate security protection provided by alarm companies. In their lawsuits, crime victims accuse security companies, including major players like ADT and Stanley, of failing to protect them.
Court documents describe harrowing experiences of assault, robbery and murder, as plaintiffs allege that security companies large and small failed to call the police when a break-in was recorded, utilized insufficient alarms to warn away predators or failed to respond appropriately to panic buttons.
Security alarm companies have a basic duty to uphold the terms of their contract with a subscriber. But in a number of recent lawsuits, victims and their loved ones have accused security companies of misrepresenting their services, providing consumers with a false sense of security that, when the critical moment arrived, was never fulfilled.
In The Wake Of Crime, Alarm Company Lawsuits Pursue Financial Compensation
One lawsuit describes how an improperly-installed ADT alarm system failed to call the fire department after a fire had started. The home was entirely consumed in the blaze, leaving its owner homeless and alone. The homeowner says ADT hid behind a small clause in its contract, which commits the company to repay only $1,000 worth of damage in the event of liability. This tactic is common among alarm system companies.
$1 Million Robbery Case Leads To Financial Damages
A second lawsuit accuses Complete Security Systems, a company based in Marlboro, New Jersey, of failing to warn a home's occupants of a break-in. According to court documents, thieves broke through a downstairs window, circumventing the home's perimeter alarm system, which was equipped with loud sirens and designed to send an automatic call to police, but was not engineered to be triggered by a broken window.
The couple lost around $1 million worth of jewelry after the thieves breached a secondary alarm system, installed to protect their jewelry closet, which was not designed to alert the police and only emitted a quiet alarm in the interior of the closet.
In their lawsuit, the couple claimed that Complete Security Systems had been negligent in designing the security system, which was insufficient to alert homeowners or the police to a break-in. A jury agreed, awarding the couple $800,000 in financial compensation for their losses.
ADT Security Settles Twin Murder Case
In a third tragic case, which was settled for an undisclosed amount of financial compensation, surviving family members accused ADT of failing to warn the sleeping occupants of a home that a man, armed with a gun, had broken in and was quickly approaching their bedroom.
The couple was murdered in their beds, after the assailant was able to cut the residence's phone lines, break in through a glass patio door, walk up the stairs and enter the bedroom. None of this triggered the alarm system. In fact, the alarm only went off when the couple's two children, frantically escaping the house, opened its front door.
After Rape, Negligent Security Lawsuit Ends In $8.6 Million Award
The largest of these cases, however, was concluded in July of 2013, when a jury in Georgia awarded $8.6 million to a woman who was raped in her home after a Monitronics dispatcher failed to inform her that her security alarm system had gone off previously in the day.
The plaintiff, whose name has been withheld to protect her privacy, left for work one day at 4 in the morning. Her alarm system was first triggered at 10:27 am; a Monitronics dispatcher attempted to call the plaintiff at the Target store where she worked, but was unsuccessful in reaching her. The dispatcher then called the police, who were dispatched to the home, but could not enter until a key-holder was present at the residence.
Over the next nine hours, the home's alarm system was triggered no fewer than five times. Every time, Monitronics was unable to reach the plaintiff or her sister, who was listed as her emergency contact. The police, meanwhile, told Monitronics that they would stop answering dispatches until such time as they were able to lawfully enter the residence. The plaintiff finally returned to her home at 7:25 pm, triggering the alarm system yet again when she opened an internal door.
A representative from Monitronics called her immediately, but failed to tell her that the alarm system had been going off all day. The plaintiff said she was fine and the call was concluded. That's when the plaintiff noticed that something was off inside her home. She found a tequila bottle out on the counter, and a cell phone that she didn't recognize. Her bed sheets had been disturbed.
After about twenty minutes, the plaintiff was "grabbed by a stranger brandishing a knife," Security System News writes. The assailant was Stephen Okrah. Over the next few hours, Okrah terrified the plaintiff, demanding money and, ultimately, raping her. Okrah was eventually arrested without incident and incarcerated.
But the plaintiff was not finished in her pursuit of justice. She filed suit against Monitronics, accusing the company of breach of contract, negligence and fraudulent misrepresentation. The jury agreed with the plaintiff's assertions, ordering Monitronics to pay her $8.6 million in damages. The judgment was later upheld on appeal.
Learn More About Your Legal Options
While past verdicts are no guarantee of similar outcomes in the future, these jury verdicts and settlements demonstrate that, when security companies fail, justice is possible through the civil court system. If you or a loved one were assaulted in your home, and you believe that your security company failed to protect you, our compassionate negligent security lawyers are here to help.
Sexual assault can raise a storm of difficult emotions, from shame and rage to fear and grief. We understand, and we believe that your story must be told. We can help you step forward to report this terrible crime with confidence. Learn more about your legal options in a free consultation today. You can find more information on case eligibility at no cost and no obligation.