Who is responsible for the actions of security guards?

A Tulsa man who was shot in the neck by a security guard may have a cause of action against the guard’s employer and the apartment complex that hired him.

On Wednesday, a man and woman were in a vehicle at the Deerfield Estates Apartments located at 88th and Delaware in Tulsa. Reports indicate the two were possibly involved in sex act when confronted by a security guard asking for identification.

According to the security guard, the driver then started the vehicle and backed up, striking the guard. The guard contends this caused him to hit the trunk of the car and caused his hand to break the rear windshield. At this point the guard claims that he began to fire shots into the vehicle striking the driver.

Based on the guard’s story, there was no imminent threat of harm when he began firing shots at the car. By his own account, the car was not facing him, and appeared to be driving away.

From the conduct described, there is no reason to believe that either person in the car was a dangerous felon, or would likely cause death or seriously bodily injury to another if they escaped.

Even if the security guard was a police officer, substantial questions would exist as to whether this was a legitimate shoot or excessive force. However, in the context of a security guard, the standard of liability is much lower. The victim only needs to prove that the security guard was negligent.

To establish negligence, the victim must show that the security guard failed to exercise reasonable care when he confronted the individuals and fired his weapon.

Depending on the background of this particular security guard, additional claims may exist against the security company and the apartment complex for negligent hiring, training or retention.

If you have questions about the liability of security guards, contact the local Tulsa attorneys at Bryan & Terrill, 918-935-2777