Many residents of New Jersey know that the number of shoppers who visit suburban malls increase during the holiday season. Because of this increase, store and mall owners are on heightened security alert during this time. However, inadequate security, especially in areas where there is history of criminal activity, can compromise customer safety.

After a carjacking incident in a mall parking lot left her husband dead last December, the victim’s widow has now filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Newark Superior Court against the owner of the mall, its security contractors, its general manager and the emergency service that responded to the call.

The incident occurred on the third floor parking deck of the mall when the 30-year-old male victim refused to give his car keys to two armed men in order to protect his wife who was inside the vehicle at the time. He was shot in the head and died at a local hospital. Criminal charges have been filed against the assailants.

The lawsuit alleges that the mall operator and its security contractors failed to maintain the safety of the mall at the height of the holiday season when carjacking is prevalent. It also contends that the emergency responders took too long because the emergency vehicle was too big to get into the parking garage. Part of the lawsuit also claims that the mall operator should have known that bigger vehicles, such as an ambulance, could not access the parking lot. A police officer, on the contrary, stated that the deceased received medical attention within minutes.

Mall or shop owners are liable for injuries if they fail to keep their premises secured from threat or safety hazards. Negligent security can result in injuries, and in extreme cases, can also result in fatal outcomes. These situations can produce medical expenses, lost wages, funeral costs and other expenses for any victims and their family. They may then choose to file a lawsuit and seek compensation.

Those dealing with a tragic incident should understand what their options are. They might have a cause of action to compensate them for the loss of their loved one. Seeking guidance and assistance in the situation could be very helpful.

Source: CBS, “Widow Sues After Deadly Carjacking At Short Hills Mall In New Jersey,” Mar. 14, 2014