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What is HB837, and who does it affect?


Have security guard services become mandatory for multi-family and commercial property owners in Florida? Well, we might be; HB 837 changes Florida’s standard from “pure” comparative negligence to “modified” comparative negligence. This aligns Florida with many of the other states who have already adopted a “modified” comparative negligence standard. This new standard does not apply to medical negligence actions.
Previously, a plaintiff was entitled to recover a percentage of damages proportionate to the degree of fault of the defendant. Under “modified” comparative negligence, if a plaintiff is more negligent than the defendant, the plaintiff cannot recover. 
This new standard will likely reduce the number of cases brought in which the plaintiff was the predominant cause of his or her own harm.   


In a negligent security action against the owner or operator of real property by a person lawfully on the property who was harmed by the criminal act of a third party, the trier of fact is now required to consider the fault of all persons who contributed to the injury or death, including the criminal actor. Moreover, the owner or operator of the property cannot be held negligent for damages to a third party attempting to commit, or engaged in committing, any criminal act on the property. 
HB 837 also creates a presumption against negligent security liability for the owner or operator of a “multifamily residential property” if the burden of proof is met to demonstrate “substantial compliance” with crime assessments, crime and safety training for employees, and safety and security measures which include:
Security camera system at points of exit and entry that maintains the video retrievable for 30 days; 
A lighted parking lot from dusk to dawn; 
Lighting in common areas, porches, walkways, and laundry rooms from dusk to dawn; 
A deadbolt measuring at least one inch in every door; 
Locking devices on every window and sliding door;  

Licensed and Insured security guard service companies 

Locked gates at pool fence areas; and 
 A peephole or viewer on door that does not have a window or window next to the door.   


Negligent security refers to a situation where a person or entity fails to provide adequate security measures, resulting in harm or injury to another person. It typically arises in the context of premises liability, where property owners or occupiers have a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of individuals on their premises. 

When it comes to negligent security, property owners may be held responsible if they fail to provide adequate security measures, such as proper lighting, surveillance systems, security personnel, or secure entryways. This failure to exercise reasonable care in providing security can lead to criminal acts, such as assaults, robberies, or other harmful incidents. 


The specific legal standards and requirements for establishing a claim of negligent security can vary depending on the jurisdiction. Generally, however, to prove a claim of negligent security, the following elements must be established: 


  1. Duty: The property owner or occupier had a duty to provide reasonable security measures to protect individuals on the premises.
  2. Breach of duty: The property owner or occupier failed to meet this duty by not implementing appropriate security measures.
  3. Causation: The lack of adequate security measures was the direct cause of the harm or injury suffered by the victim.
  4. Damages: The victim suffered actual damage as a result of the negligent security.


If these elements are successfully proven, the victim may be entitled to compensation for their injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related damages. 


It’s important to note that laws and legal standards may vary in different jurisdictions, so it’s always advisable to consult with a qualified attorney who specializes in premises liability or personal injury law in your specific jurisdiction for accurate and up-to-date legal advice. For security guard services call Fast Guard Service 844.254.8273.