A person injured in an assault may, depending on the circumstances surrounding the assault, have a claim against the premises owner for negligent security. Such cases may include allegations that the premises owner failed to provide adequate lighting, security, or other measures that could have prevented the attack. The Fifth District recently considered whether a premises owner’s insurer is responsible for paying such a claim in Wilshire Insurance Company v. Poinciana Grocer, Inc.
In this case, a man who was employed by a garbage collection company was stabbed on the premises by a man leaving a convenience store. The injured man sued the premises owner for negligently failing to maintain the premises in a safe condition, failure to warn, and failure to prevent the assault with adequate security or safety. The opinion does not provide detailed information regarding the allegations.
The policy in question has an exclusion related to assault and battery. The exclusion applies to claims arising from assault or battery and acts or omissions related to preventing or suppressing assault or battery. The exclusion further provides that the insurer is not responsible for defending the insured against such claims.