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El Paso shooting victims sue Walmart for inadequate security

On Aug. 3, a Walmart Supercenter in El Paso became the site of a mass shooting. One of the families affected by it has now filed a lawsuit against Walmart, claiming that it could have prevented the incident with on-site active security. California residents should know that in cases involving violent acts on another's property, plaintiffs must meet a high standard when it comes to the burden of proof. This lawsuit may change things.

Not only the lawsuit but also news media reports on the shooting attest to the fact that the El Paso Walmart had no discernible security presence. A spokesman for the El Paso Police has stated that all the Walmarts in that city had off-duty officers on the premises but that this practice was discontinued sometime before the shooting spree. After the spree, Walmart once again began to recruit off-duty officers.

Walmart follows its own method for determining if security guards, off-duty police officers and non-uniformed officers are needed at a particular store. Though it has not commented on what this method involves, property management experts are clear that loss prevention is one essential factor. Retailers tend to set up security personnel only in stores where the neighborhood has been proven to be crime-infested.

People who have been harmed due to inadequate security might have a viable cause of action under the theory of premises liability. It will have to be demonstrated that the owner of the property on which the incident occurred knew or should have known of the risks involved. Victims might want to meet with an attorney to discuss their case.

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