It's a parent's worst nightmare - getting the news that the child you've sent off to college has been killed. For Jasmine Lynn's parents, that nightmare became reality when their daughter, a Spellman College student, was killed in September outside a dorm at the Clark Atlanta University campus. A fight had broken out on the campus, and shots were fired. A stray bullet struck Lynn, killing her.
Her parents have now announced their plans to file a lawsuit against the university. Lynn's parents are suing the university for wrongful death and neglecting to provide adequate security.
Georgia's premises liability laws can apply to a range of claims, including slip and fall accidents, electrical injuries, assaults, and rapes on other's property. Maintaining safe premises includes not just maintenance of the physical structure of the property to prevent any trips falls, electrical hazards, falling loads etc., but also providing adequate security to visitors, guests, residents and customers.
Premises must have adequate numbers of security guards stationed at entry and exit points.
Premises owners must hire safe and competent employees.
Security gates must be strong and impossible to breach.
Parking lots and common areas must have adequate lighting.
Failure to provide adequate security can be the basis for a claim against the property owner. In Lynn's case, Clark Atlanta authorities had the duty to provide a safe campus for students who had enrolled at the institution. Their failure to do so may have cost a promising young student her life, and the institution should be held accountable for her death if they were negligent in failing to make the campus safe.
Jason Schultz is an Atlanta premises liability lawyer, helping victims of slip and fall accidents, assaults, and rapes on other's properties, recover the compensation that's due to them.