Last month, a woman in our neighboring state of Oregon was accosted and attacked outside of the Washington Square Mall in Tigard. As she was making her way to her vehicle shortly after 6 p.m., an unknown male lunged at her and pressed her into a parked vehicle and made lewd remarks.
Fortunately, the woman was able to use her keys to strike her attacker in the face. He fled the scene without being apprehended. The police in Tigard continue to investigate using surveillance video of the area. This case is just one of the many throughout the nation where people — especially women — have fallen victim to violence in areas where they should be able to move and conduct their business safely.
Safety must be a priority for business owners
In many cases, the owner(s) of a commercial property knew or should have known that there was a security risk in their parking lot. They could have mitigated the risk to their customers and employees by improving the lighting r hiring security detail to protect their shoppers.
When the property owners and facility managers are not proactive about security and safety, they can face civil liability for their negligence.
Attacks like these can leave invisible scars
While it doesn’t appear that the Oregon woman suffered serious physical damage in the aforementioned attack, the psychological and emotional damage from an unprovoked random act of violence can be catastrophic. Every aspect of a victim’s life can be affected, from their ability to concentrate on the job and continue to do meaningful work to changed relationships with spouses, children and others.
Holding property owners responsible for safety lapses that lead to injuries can be emotionally and financially empowering. When something preventable like this happens, it’s not “one of those things.” Victims should speak with an experienced advocate about how they can hold the property owner liable for their lapses and prevent others from being similarly injured.