Are local authorities 'liable' if there's been an assault caused by other patrons in Public Liabilitys such as hotels/motels?
For potential claims arising out of an assault by another patron, the assailant can be sued individually or, in some cases a claim for criminal compensation can be made. Because of the limited scope of recovery in those types of claims, it is prudent also to consider other avenues of compensation.
In some cases, it may be possible to proceed against either the venue itself or the security company if security management is contracted to a separate organisation, for example, if the hotel or security firm unreasonably failed to prevent the particular assault occurring.
For such a claim to succeed it must usually be shown that one of the following occurred:
- The relative numbers and distribution of security personnel compared to the number of patrons on the premises was inadequate.
- Te period during which the altercation had been building before the assault occurring was of sufficient duration that a flexible system of surveillance would have detected and prevented the assault. (An hotel is not liable for an assault which occurs without any warning whatsoever).
- The assailant was previously unruly, violent or exhibiting signs of intoxication such that a reasonable system of management would have ensured that he or she was ejected from the premises before the assault.